Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
- Isaiah 53:4-6
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
- 1 Peter 2:23-25
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”
- Matthew 8:16-17
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
- Revelation 21:4
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
- Romans 8:25
“The mantra ‘by his stripes we are healed’ is repeated endlessly in Christian circles. However, these words extracted from Isaiah 53:5 focus on spiritual rather than physical healing.
“First, a quick look at the context makes it clear that Isaiah had spiritual rather than physical healing in mind: Christ ‘was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed’ (Isaiah 53:5, NKJV, emphasis added). Peter builds on this understanding when he writes, ‘He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed’ (1 Peter 2:24).
“Furthermore, while healing for the body is not referred to in Isaiah 53: 5, it is referred to in the verse immediately preceding it. Here Isaiah writes, ‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afﬂicted’ (Isaiah 53:4, NKJV). Physical healing here is not only clear in context, but is affirmed by the Gospels where it is given an important qualification: ‘When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases” ‘ (Matthew 8:16-17). Thus, the healing was fulfilled during the ministry of Christ and does not guarantee healing today.
“Finally, I should note that in a real sense Christ’s atonement on the cross does extend to physical healing. One day, ‘there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ (Revelation 21:4). However, Paul points out, ‘We hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently’ (Romans 8:25, emphasis added). In the meantime, we will all experience sickness and suffering. Indeed, those who live before Christ returns will all die of their last disease—the death rate is one per person and we’re all going to make it!”
- Hank Hanegraaff, The Bible Answer Book (question 15)
My wife was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within a month of her fortieth birthday. About that same time, she thought she was having a hot flash, but she was actually having a thyroid storm, or so we think from what happened later. Her decline in health was very slow, almost unnoticeable.
She had a slight heart murmur, but no one seemed to be worried. Then, my mother claimed my wife had upset my brother’s third wife and she spent six months calling us to scream at her, which accounted for almost all the times my mother ever called us. We did not have caller ID in those days. My wife started getting chest pains, and my mother’s verbal abuse became a good thing, in that the resulting tests led to a diagnosis of aortic stenosis. That eventually led to a few heart attacks and open-heart surgery a few years ago. But every time she had a surgery in the past twenty years, her kidney function has suffered. She has been on kidney dialysis for nearly two years.
This past month, she went to the emergency room twice. The first time was for a low blood count (hemoglobin). She spent five days in the hospital. Then three weeks later, she went back with atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) caused during dialysis. With IV medication, everything settled down about eight hours later and we went home.
She is upstairs right now, as of writing this, cooking dinner. We skipped church this morning due to extreme dizziness during Sunday school. I had no idea my teaching could get that kind of reaction, but she rebounded and feels she must make a contribution. Besides, the shoves her chair close to the stove and stirs while sitting.
I keep telling her that I will go to Heaven before she does. I will simply have “the big one,” and no one will be able to revive me. She says that with my blog, I need to keep going, and she can’t wait to go.
For those who love Jesus, all the promises above in the Scriptures are wanted promises that we wait patiently for. Even passing away is the ultimate healing.
I think it was in Dr. Robert Jeffress’ book, A Place Called Heaven, where I read that our problem is never in thinking about Heaven too much, our problem is in not thinking about Heaven enough.
And each time you have one more health setback after another, you think about Heaven a lot.
But to be assured of Heaven, you need to accept Jesus as your Savior. My wife did about twenty years ago, and she is looking forward to the part about not more tears and no more pain.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.