April 21, 2024

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WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED IN BOTH BODY AND SOUL

IN THE DAYS OF HIS POANDWER SERIES.

TOPIC: WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED IN BODY AND SOUL

COMPILED EDITED BY-:
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM

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. Isaiah 53:5
The Lord resolved to restore us, and therefore he sent his Only-begotten Son, “Very God of very God,” that he might descend into this world to take upon himself our nature, in order to our redemption. He lived as a man among men; and, in due time, after thirty years or more of service, the time came when he should do us the greatest service of all, namely, stand in our stead, and bear the chastisement of our peace. He went to Gethsemane, and there, at the first taste of our bitter cup, he sweat great drops of blood. He went to Pilate’s hall, and Herod’s judgment-seat, and there drank draughts of pain and scorn in our room and place. Last of all, they took him to the cross, and nailed him there to die— to die in our stead, “the Just for the unjust, to bring us to God.” The word “stripes” is used to set forth his sufferings, both of body and of soul. The whole of Christ was made a sacrifice for us: his whole manhood suffered. As to his body, it shared with his mind in a grief that never can be described.

THE GRIEVOUS NATURE OF SIN

God treats sin as a disease, and HE HERE DECLARES THE REMEDY WHICH HE HAS PROVIDED: “With his stripes we are healed.”

Sin is a disease, for it is not essential to manhood, nor an integral part of human nature as God created it. Man was never more fully and truly man than he was before he fell; and he who is specially called “the Son of man” knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; yet was he perfectly man. Sin is abnormal; a sort of cancerous growth, which ought not to be within the soul. Sin is disturbing to manhood: sin unmans a man. Sin is sadly destructive to man; it takes the crown from his head, the light from his mind, and the joy from his heart. We may name many grievous diseases which are the destroyers of our race, but the greatest of these is sin: sin, indeed, is the fatal egg from which all other sicknesses have been hatched. It is the fountain and source of all mortal maladies.

It is a disease, because it puts the whole system of the man out of order. It places the lower faculties in the higher place, for it makes the body master over the soul. The man should ride the horse; but in the sinner the horse rides the man. The mind should keep the animal instincts and propensities in check; but in many men the animal crushes the mental and the spiritual. For instance, how many live as if eating and drinking were the chief objects of existence: they live to eat, instead of eating to live! The faculties are thrown out of gear by sin, so that they act fitfully and irregularly; you cannot depend upon any one of them keeping its place. The equilibrium of the life-forces is grievously disturbed. Even as a sickness of body is called a disorder, so is sin the disorder of the soul. Human nature is out of joint, and out of health, and man is no longer man: he is dead through sin, even as he was warned of old, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Man is marred, bruised, sick, paralyzed, polluted, rotten with disease, just in proportion as sin has shown its true character.

Sin, like disease, operates to weaken man. The moral energy is broken down so as scarcely to exist in some men. The conscience labours under a fatal consumption, and is gradually ruined by a decline; the understanding has been lamed by evil, and the will is rendered feeble for good, though forcible for evil. The principle of integrity, the resolve of virtue, in which a man’s true strength really lies, is sapped and undermined by wrong-doing. Sin is like a secret flow of blood, which robs the vital parts of their essential nourishment. How near to death in some men is even the power to discern between good and evil! The apostle tells us that, when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly; and this being without strength is the direct result of the sickness of sin, which has weakened our whole manhood.

Perhaps somebody says, “Why do you raise these points? They fill us with unpleasant thoughts.” I do it for the reason given by the engineer who built the great Menai Tubular Bridge. When it was being erected, some brother engineers said to him, “You raise all manner of difficulties.” “Yes,” he said, “I raise them that I may solve them.” So do we at this time dilate upon the sad state of man by nature, that we may the better set forth the glorious remedy of which our text so sweetly speaks.

WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED

The remedy for your sins and mine is found in the substitutionary sufferings of the Lord Jesus, and in these only. These “stripes” of the Lord Jesus Christ were on our behalf. Do you enquire, “Is there anything for us to do, to remove the guilt of sin?” I answer: There is nothing whatever for you to do. By the stripes of Jesus we are healed. All those stripes he has endured, and left not one of them for us to bear.
To describe the outward sufferings of our Lord is not easy: I acknowledge that I have failed. But his soul-sufferings, which were the soul of his sufferings, who can even conceive, much less express, what they were? At the very first I told you that he sweat great drops of blood. That was his heart driving out its life-floods to the surface through the terrible depression of spirit which was upon him. He said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” The betrayal by Judas, and the desertion of the twelve, grieved our Lord; but the weight of our sin was the real pressure on his heart. Our guilt was the olive-press which forced from him the moisture of his life. No language can ever tell his agony in prospect of his passion; how little then can we conceive the passion itself? When nailed to the cross he endured what no martyr ever suffered; for martyrs, when they have died, have been so sustained of God that they have rejoiced amid their pain; but our Redeemer was forsaken of his Father, until he cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” That was the bitterest cry of all, the utmost depth of his unfathomable grief. Yet was it needful that he should be deserted, because God must turn his back on sin, and consequently upon him who was made sin for us. The soul of the great Substitute suffered a horror of misery, instead of that horror of hell into which sinners would have been plunged had he not taken their sin upon himself, and been made a curse for them. It is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree”

“But must we not believe on him?” certainly. If I say of a certain ointment that it heals, I do not deny that you need a bandage with which to apply it to the wound. Faith is the linen which binds the plaster of Christ’s reconciliation to the sore of our sin. The linen does not heal; that is the work of the ointment. So faith does not heal; that is the work of the atonement of Christ.

When you intelligently trust in Jesus as having suffered for you, then you discover the fact that God will never punish you for the same offence for which Jesus died. His justice will not permit him to see the debt paid, first, by the Surety, and then again by the debtor. Justice cannot twice demand a recompense: if my bleeding Surety has borne my guilt, then I cannot bear it. Accepting Christ Jesus as suffering for me, I have accepted a complete discharge from judicial liability. I have been condemned in Christ, and there is, therefore, now no condemnation to me any more. This is the groundwork of the security of the sinner who believes in Jesus: he lives because Jesus died in his room, and place, and stead; and he is acceptable before God because Jesus is accepted. The person for whom Jesus is an accepted Substitute must go free; none can touch him; he is clear. O my hearer, wilt thou have Jesus Christ to be thy Substitute? If so, thou art free. “He that believeth on him is not condemned.” Thus “with his stripes we are healed.”

I have tried to put before you the disease and the remedy; I now desire to notice the fact that THIS REMEDY IS IMMEDIATELY EFFECTIVE WHEREVER IT IS APPLIED. The stripes of Jesus do heal men: they have healed many of us. It does not look as if it could effect so great a cure, but the fact is undeniable. I often hear people say, “If you preach up this faith in Jesus Christ as saving men, they will be careless about holy living.” I am as good a witness on that point as anybody, for I live every day in the midst of men who are trusting to the stripes of Jesus for their salvation, and I have seen no ill effect following from such a trust; but I have seen the very reverse. I bear testimony that I have seen the very worst of men become the very best of men by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. These stripes heal in a surprising manner the moral diseases of those who seemed past remedy.

The character is healed. I have seen the drunkard become sober, the harlot become chaste, the passionate man become gentle, the covetous man become liberal, and the liar become truthful, simply by trusting in the sufferings of Jesus.

Character is everything: if the character be not set right, the man is not saved. But we say it without fear of contradiction, that the atoning sacrifice, applied to the heart, heals the disease of sin. If you doubt it, try it. He that believes in Jesus is sanctified as well as justified; by faith he becomes henceforth an altogether changed man.

Gratitude for such great mercy causes a change of thought towards God, and so it heals the judgment, and by this means the affections are turned in the right way, and the heart is healed. Sin is no longer loved, but God is loved, and holiness is desired. The whole man is healed, and the whole life changed. Many of you know how light of heart faith in Jesus makes you, how the troubles of life lose their weight, and the fear of death ceases to cause bondage. You rejoice in the Lord, for the blessed remedy of the stripes of Jesus is applied to your soul by faith in him.

Never mind how simple the language. Tell it out: tell it out everywhere, and in every way, even if you cannot do it in any other way than by copying a verse out of a hymnbook. Tell it out that by the stripes of Jesus we are healed. May God bless you, dear friends!

SHALOM!

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