April 11, 2009

is healing in the atonement?

For some this may be a bit of technical theological question, but it has been a question that has divided many Christians. No Christian disputes the fact that Jesus' atoning work provided for the forgiveness of sin for all who put their faith in Him, but did his suffering (his whippings, beatings and death) also provide for our physical healing?

On a day when Jesus healed ALL who were sick, and cast out demons with a word (Matt. 8:16), Matthew quotes Isaiah 53 to explain what happened on that day - "He (Jesus) Himself took our infirmities AND bore our sicknesses".

This passage has been neglected and others have attempted to explain it away limiting its fulfillment and application only for those healed on that particular day. However, the Isaiah 53 passage cannot be applied partially when it comes to the physical healing aspects and then applied generally when it comes to the forgiveness of sins. This is poor Biblical hermeneutics.

The bottom line remains the same - the reason theologians and commentators try to minimize the importance of this passage has nothing to do with the obscurity of its meaning. Matthew couldn't have spoken more clearly. The reason this passage isn't preached on is because of the EXPERIENCE of those who don't believe that physical healing is provided for in atonement. They haven't seen healing, it isn't a part of their ministry and so they brush over the passage.

However, when people realize that our sicknesses and diseases are also things that Christ provided for in His atoning work, miracles of healing begin to follow their lives. I know this was the case in our own lives and ministry. I initially got a vision for healing but didn't yet embrace it as being part of the atonement. I figured God's love and compassion was basis enough. Something changes however when we realize that healing was something that Christ personally paid for - and there is something that rises up inside of us that says, "He should get all that He paid for"!!

Healing is in fact in the atonement - our infirmities were TAKEN and our sicknesses BORNE by Christ!