By Elder Larry Wise

   Many teach today that we should never be sick. If we are sick, it is because we haven’t claimed what has already been accomplished, and that is all our sicknesses have been healed by Jesus Christ. The ones who teach this refer to Isa. 53:5 which says, “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.”  They claim that by the stripes Christ endured on Calvary’s cross, we have been healed; we never have to succumb to sickness. We can rebuke illness in the name of the Lord and that illness will vacate the premises.  It is all a lack of faith.

The scripture in Isa. 53:5 doesn’t indicate in any way a physical healing has been accomplished by the stripes which were laid on Christ.  It is the truth that we have been healed, but we have been healed of the putrefying and deadly sore of sin.  This is seemingly made plain by the next verse which states, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all”  It was iniquity that was laid on Christ. Iniquity comes from a Hebrew word which means fault, iniquity, mischief, punishment (of iniquity), sin.  This in no way indicates a healing of all our diseases. Of course we must realize that God did and still does perform physical healing, but He did that before Jesus ever suffered anything on the cross of Calvary. We must also realize that the ultimate cause of all sickness is sin which will finally culminate in death. The Bible gives us an account of Hezekiah that was sick unto death in II Kings 20:1.  Hezekiah besought the Lord; the Lord heard his cry and added unto him 15 years of life; however, ultimately he died because of inherent sin brought into the world by Adam and passed upon all his posterity. Sickness then goes back to the origin of sin, thus it is explained that Jesus bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. The Lord laid on Christ our iniquities. Many were brought to Christ who were possessed with devils and he cast out the spirits with His word and healed all that were sick. The reason for this is stated, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”  (Matt. 8:17).

Peter mentions the verse in Isa. 53:5 concerning being healed in I Peter 2:24 and follows it up in verse 25, “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”  Notice that the sheep have returned to the Shepherd and Bishop which is Jesus Christ. Sin, fault, iniquity, evil and mischief sent us astray, but now are we returned. How have we returned? We have returned by the stripes (bruising-ultimately in death) of Jesus Christ who bore our sins in His own body on the tree of the cross. We, as sheep, have been reconciled to God by the death of His Son and will finally walk with God in heaven because we have been brought into Divine agreement with God. Amos said that two could not walk together except they be agreed. (Amos 3:3)

The Lord gave the apostles power to heal the sick and even raise the dead, but that power doesn’t exist today  The reason people are sick is because of the inherent sin in them which as stated previously will finally end in death; however, they are not necessarily sick because of any specific sin as was the case of the blind man in ninth chapter of John. This blind man had not sinned, neither had his parents, that resulted in his condition, according to the words of Jesus. James tells us what is to be done when there is sickness among us. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15).  Why would James, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, give instructions for praying for the sick if no individual was ever supposed to be sick?  The answer is that people are going to be sick; and if they ultimately die because of that sickness, it is not because of a lack of faith. God is still in the healing business, both natural and spiritual, but we always pray, “Not our will but thine be done.”

We rejoice that Jesus has healed us of that deadly sore of sin in the sight of God and have returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls. Without this healing, we could never be in heaven’s pure world. God has legally justified us in the sight of God.  Even though we all must surely go the way of all the earth, we just as surely will enter the portals of glory because of the stripes Jesus endured. There was a joy set before Jesus as He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2). That joy was the deliverance and healing of His chosen family from that deadly, separating sore of sin.