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259. Power through his body - By his stripes. (Part 2)

'He was PIERCED for our rebellion, CRUSHED for our sins. He was BEATEN so we could be whole. He was WHIPPED so we could be healed ... the LORD laid on him the sins of us all. '* (NLT Isaiah 53:5-6) The Jews dread to read this passage because the suffering of the Messiah mentioned therein sounds akin to the sufferings of Jesus and therefore they have rejected it altogether! God never demanded a human sacrifice for sins though the *'wages of sin is death'* ( Romans 6:23). But instead he instituted animal sacrifices to *atone* ( to appease God ) for the sins of mankind. But when the Jews and Gentiles *'met together to conspire against his holy servant Jesus, ... they did what his power and will had decided beforehand should happen'* ( Acts 4:27-28). God in his wisdom, turned the ghastly murder of his Son, into a sacrifice for sins of the world by laying on him the sins of us all. In other words, men unwittingly helped sacrifice the Lamb of God because they thought they were executing a man for blasphemy. ( However, that would not absolve them of their guilt in having condemned an innocent man! ) But why did God turn it into a sacrifice for sins? *'He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - he did this to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just ...'*( Romans 3:) The holiness of God requires that sin be covered and his wrath against it be turned aside. Therefore Christ, *' is the atoning sacrifice* ( or traditionally the act of *propitiation* which means the action of appeasing a god. Here it means the one who turns aside God's wrath ) *for our sins and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.'* ( 1 John 2:2) Was it not enough that he be just killed? Why did he have to suffer such a gruesome death? Not that God required such violence and hatred be shown against his Anointed servant but with the devil *inciting* (encouraging or stirring up violent or unlawful behaviour) the wickedness of men, the vilest of human behaviour was on display the day Christ died, with none to restraint their madness! Why didn't God restraint? *God made him who knew no sin to be a sin offering for us'* ( 2 Corinthians 5:21), thus *'becoming a curse for us'* ( Galatians 3:13). Therefore he was left to suffer this cruelty at the hands of men (Luke 23:31) because the wrath of God against sin had to be satisfied. To believe that Jesus received only 39 lashes is a fallacy because that would hold true only if he was sentenced under the Jewish law ( Deuteronomy 25: 3 allowed the court to whip a criminal with a maximum of forty lashes depending on his crime, lest he be degraded in their eyes) but Jesus was flogged by the Romans who didn't care for the Jewish law! Paul too received five times from the Jews, forty lashes minus one and three times he was beaten with rods ( 2 Corinthians 11:24-25) but still he was not marred or disfigured! They whipped Jesus, without keeping any count of the lashes so that this Scripture would be fulfilled: *'His apperance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.'* ( Isaiah 52:14) *'He was despised and rejected by men ... It was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer.'* ( 53:3-10) But *'after the suffering of his soul He shall see the light of life* ( the result of the suffering) *and be satisfied.'* (53:11) Jesus willfully endured the flogging and the cross because he knew what would be the joyful outcome! *For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it's shame ...'* ( Hebrews 12:2 ) At the whipping post he purchased healing for all of humanity. And as if this torture was not enough, they also made this broken ( in the flesh) and bruised man to carry his own cross to Golgotha, where they nailed him to it! And there on the cross he paid for the sins of all mankind, whether be of the past, present or future! *The breaking of his flesh was for our healing and the shedding of his blood was for our salvation.* As a proclamation of this truth, Jesus, *'on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me ... For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes."* ( 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) The resurrected Christ still bears the marks of his sufferings on his body, just as any wound would leave behind a scar, which is the proof that *'truly he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows.'* ( Isaiah 53:4) The stripes reminds us of the 'bloody' price he paid for our healing and our right to receive it. It was supposed to be the *'children's bread'* ( Matthew 15:26-27) but even their dogs have eaten of it! Unconditional healing is the promise under the new covenant because he has already paid for the sins of the entire world. Anyone can receive healing for their bodies, by faith, whether Jew or Gentile; saved or unsaved ! No wonder even Malchus, the high priest's servant whose right ear was cut off by Peter, received his healing, though he didn't ask for it ( Luke22:51)! *The power through his body by his stripes is for our healing.* The woman with the issue of blood believed there is healing even in the edge of his cloak, for she said to herself, *"If only I touch his cloak, I will be healed"* ( Matthew 9:21) because the prophet had said, *"But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings* (Hebrew: *kānāp* means any extreme part - wing, corner, *hem of a garment,* ends)" - Malachi 4:2. Our healing brings glory and joy to Jesus, just as our salvation would, as he sees the fruit of his labour. Experience today the healing power that still flows through his body, the Church. Amen.

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