Matthew 8:16-17; Isaiah 53:5;1 Peter: 2;24
I am struck by the danger of declaring that the cross of Christ deals with our sickness as well as our sins. People aren’t always healed but we are eternally forgiven. The cross of Christ declares the now of our forgiveness and the not yet of our physical wholeness.
If we declare that Jesus bore our sickness at the cross and that it is the cross that assures our healing, and people aren’t healed; that healing isn’t guaranteed, what are they to think if we then declare that the cross deals with sin. Is this equally in doubt?
Daily we experience suffering in our bodies; we experience the putting to death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our bodies (2 Corinthians 4:10-11) and ‘Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’ (2 Corinthians 4:16).
John Stott writes ‘”Bearing the penalty for sin” is readily intelligible, since sin’s penalty is death… But what is the penalty of sickness?”’ (Stott, 2007, p. 285) Is sickness a fault? Sometimes you can feel that, if you bear the guilt of not being healed.
But praise God! I have been physically healed many times. I live in the expectation of being healed many times again in this life , for the glory of Christ, and being eternally healed in the next, because of the cross of Christ.
Stott, J. (2007) The Cross of Christ, 20th anniversary edition, IVP
Great post Emlyn. Personally I get annoyed when people quote “by his stripes (wounds) we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5) as verse for physical healing when it is clearly referring to our spiritual healing.
It is great when God heals but we should realise that probably 90% or more of sufferings will need to be borne and I would hate to think of what sort of person (christian) we would be like if that percentage was the other way around!