Sunday, 2 May 2021

By His Stripes

 Scripture: Isaiah 53 v 5: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

1 Corinthians 12 v 8 - 10: "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:"

It has been said that doctors who have practiced medicine for many years are unable to explain how skin grows together.  They can join the edges of a cut with a neat row of stitches but the wound must heal and close by its own power.  God made us like that.

Psalm 139 v 13 - 14: "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
15  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth."

We were fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and He did a marvellous job of creating us.  However the wages of sin is death, and before death, in many cases, is sickness and disease.  When Jesus healed the lame man who was let down through the roof, He said, Your sins are forgiven, rise up and walk.

When blind Bartimaeus received his sight Jesus said, neither did this man sin, nor his parents, but that the works of God would be seen in him.  He was a special case, afflicted to be an example of God's healing power.

So sin produces sickness, infirmity and finally death, or a person is afflicted for a purpose known only to God.  A third example is Paul with his thorn in the flesh, given by God to keep him meek and humble because of the revelations and miracles he was used by God to do.

Paul prayed three times for his affliction to be healed, but God answered, My grace is sufficient for thee.  This is when we have to abandon ourselves to the will of God.  It's very easy for pride and superiority to enter into those who have gifts of healing and miracles to deliver.

Healing, miracles and deliverance from demons are the gifts most often found among evangelists.  Evangelists are preaching the gospel to the lost, unsaved souls and the Lord loves to emphasize this with signs and wonders to show the new converts the power of God's love.  If they receive healing they never forget that they have received a touch from Jesus, or if they are released from bondage from slavery to drugs or sex, they tell their friends and the Word spreads and grows, and the Kingdom of God is enlarged.

Everything Jesus suffered before He was crucified had an eternal and lasting purpose.  He sweated blood in the garden of Gethsemane to break the power of our will over God's will for us.  He was lashed with a horrible whip that stripped lengths of skin off His back.  By these stripes we are healed.

2000 years ago we were healed.  Isaiah prophesied it, and it happened exactly like that.  The Jewish priests  Rabbis, of Judaism have blocked Isaiah 53 from being studied or read in the synagogues.  They cannot explain it and it shatters their traditions and their belief that the Resurrection was a hoax, and that Jesus was not the Messiah.  So it's scrapped.

But we were healed 2000 years ago and it is part of the New Testament covenant that exists between God and every saved soul.  We enter into it when we pray the prayer of salvation.  We are forgiven every sin.  We are healed of diseases.  We are delivered from the power of demons and set free of addictions.

To receive these miracles we have to believe by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died to justify us.  All things are possible to them who believe.  When Jesus was in Nazareth He could do few healings because of their unbelief.  We need faith in Jesus to receive healing.  

The lame man lowered through the roof by his friends, was healed by the Lord because of their faith.  The woman with the issue of blood was healed when she touched the hem of His garment expecting a miracle.  Our faith and expectation, our trust in the Covenant we have with God, brings the reward.  

By His stripes.  By His Blood, by His death and resurrection.  We have everlasting life that starts when we are born again and continues in Heaven.  Death has passed over us.  

Absent from the body present with the Lord, instantly!  No such place as purgatory in the Bible.  We are changed to be like Jesus in the twinkling of an eye at the moment of our passing from this world to Heaven.  So if it be His will to take us home rather than heal us, we gracefully accept it and know that our loved ones will soon join us in the hereafter.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, You love us so much.  Thank You for the great benefits we enjoy in Your Covenant with us.  Thank You that by the stripes of Jesus we are healed.  Increase our faith and blot out soulish prayers prayed in our own will, that prevent healing. Let us always seek Your will and truly believe that You do all things well. In Jesus' name. Amen.