High hopes for healing
‘Divine healing in the atonement’ is one of today’s most controversial but exciting doctrines. It means that Jesus’ atonement (His death and resurrection) not only fully payed for sin, but sickness too. Why has such a scriptural truth sparked so much doubt and debate over the years? One reason is that many of us have let our human experience determine what we believe, rather than believing in scripture and seeing our experience submit to the truth. Another reason is that there is cessation teaching in the body of Christ, the idea that the gifts and workings of God in man for the miraculous ceased with the Apostles. Another reason could be that sometimes people have moved in divine healing but misunderstood the dynamics in which it functions. They accuse those who have been prayed for of having no faith if there is no result, stating that people have hidden sin when they are not healed, or even make up excuses like “it must not be God’s timing right now”.
These reasons were never found in Jesus’ mouth. They have caused condemnation and confusion over divine healing for many. Some find it easiest to have a ‘maybe, maybe not’ attitude toward healing, leaving it all in God’s hands. The problem though, is that God left it in our hands! If Jesus really purchased divine healing for all, by spilling his eternally precious blood, then I want to pursue this by faith until my experience is subject to God’s will! Don’t you?
Sin and sickness are two fruits from the same tree – Curry Blake
The new ‘normal’
The reality of divine healing has rapidly been recovered in the last one hundred years in the body of Christ. The rare anointed man of God who walks in healing is a thing of the past. We have discovered the reality of “the priesthood of ALL believers” (1 Peter 2:5). The saints are those who are doing the works of ministry! There has never been a day on the earth where more people are praying for the sick and seeing multitudes healed. It has become common doctrine in many circles. Because healing signs and wonders have been rediscovered and are increasing, multitudes are being saved as this sign points them straight to the God of love and mercy.
I can confidently say that almost every single day in my primary relational circle alone, at least one person is healed, often many. Tumours have disappeared under our hands. Many blind eyes have popped open. Cripples have walked. Arthritis, migraines, metal miracles, deaf ears, psoriasis, scoliosis, third degree burns and self-harm scars vanishing from people’s bodies. We are not anointed ‘full time ministers’, but normal Christian people who take God at His word full time! The reason we have seen such results is because we are convinced by Scripture that healing is in the atonement. As confident as we are about Jesus paying for people to be released from sin and born again, we are confident that He will heal them by the same sacrifice as we walk in faith.
Divine Healing in the atonement
I will write on divine healing extensively as there are many questions people have regarding this topic. Today I will briefly outline how healing is in the atonement. It is the most significant thing to understand if you desire to walk in divine healing yourself. It answers many of the questions people have about God’s will to heal and our authority to carry His will out. Because divine healing is in the atonement, we can conclude this:
- Jesus paid for the healing of every person. Therefore it is no longer a question of God’s will but our perseverance in the truth.
- It is always God’s will that someone gets healed.
- You do not have to ask or beg God about someone’s healing, you never find Jesus or disciples doing this. Instead you are to lay your hands on the sick and command healing in Jesus name.
Jesus came to earth as a spirit, soul and body. Redemption was purchased by Him for our spirit, soul and body. If Jesus only desired to redeem our ‘spirit’ He would not have come as an entire human.
The destruction of His human body, fully purchased the redemption of ours
The nuts and bolts
The doctrine of divine healing in the atonement starts in Isaiah 53. The exact same Hebrew language used in Isaiah 53 for carrying our sin and bearing our trespasses (v11-12), is used for carrying our sickness and bearing our disease on the same cross (v4)!
We will look at the Hebrew words for ‘Borne’ and ‘carried’, and then ‘Griefs’ and ‘Sorrows’ in verse 4. If you have a Strong’s bible on your bible app (olive tree app is incredible) you can literally press on the word and it will show you the Hebrew word and its definition. Do not be overwhelmed by Hebrew or Greek, insight into original languages has never been more available or easy then it is now. These verses speak of Jesus bearing and carrying our infirmities and sickness on the cross.
“Surely He has borne (’Nasa’) our griefs (’Haliy’ – anxiety, disease, grief, sickness), and carried (Sabal) our sorrows (Mak’ob – physical and mental pain/grief); Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted”. Isaiah 53:4
The Hebrew words ‘Haliy’ and ‘Mak’ob’ literally mean sickness and anxiety, both mental and physical. Now look at verse 11 and 12. Discussing the carrying of our sins and the bearing of our transgressions on the cross, the exact same Hebrew words (Nasa, Sabal) are used again.
“…for he shall bear (Sabal) their iniquities”. Isaiah 53:11
“…he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare (Nasa) the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors”. Isaiah 53:12
This shows that Jesus bore and carried our sickness in the exact same way that He bore and carried our sin!
Prophesied in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament
Not convinced? Let’s look at Matthew 8 where Matthew quotes directly from Isaiah 53:4 to prove that Jesus pays for sickness on the cross!
“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:16-17
Matthew directly quotes Isaiah 53:4, using the words ‘infirmities’ and ‘sickness’, to explain why ALL were healed when Jesus prayed. Matthew knew that Healing was in the atonement and showed His Jewish readers how this atoning purchase of sickness prophesied by Isaiah played out in Jesus’ life. There are five occasions where Jesus had a multitude of sick people around Him and it says He healed them ALL (Matthew 4:23-24, Matthew 9:35, Luke 4:40-44, Luke 6:17-19, Luke 9:11). In Acts 5:16 even the disciples healed all! Imagine that. Jesus was not around any more but His followers literally healed every one. This is because they understood what the atonement had achieved. Jesus wants what He paid for. It is our privilege to give Him the reward of His suffering.
7 powerful passages for healing
I will give short explanations under the following verses, but will not fully unpack them here. I encourage you to do so. Divine healing is a doctrine we must be sharp about scripturally as we are constantly confronted by sickness. The theology of Jesus’ purchasing divine healing on the cross for mankind is seamless in scripture. However we have allowed our experience to challenge this truth for centuries. For too long we have muddied the waters of truth with our well-meaning but un-scriptural explanations for not seeing healing manifest.
- 1 – “The Lord executes righteousness and judgement for (not on) all that are oppressed”. Psalm 103:6
The Lord executes judgement for the oppressed, he is not the oppressor. Who is the oppressor then?
- 2 – “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him”. Acts 10:38
Acts 10:38 tells us that the oppressor is the devil (also John 10:10 and 1 John 3:8). This does not mean that your sickness is demonic. It means that the devil is the one who introduces sickness into the earth when he deceived Adam and creation was perverted. God did not create sickness, nor does He use it to do His will. His will is to remove it.
- 3 – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases”. Psalm 103:2-3
This puts healing and forgiveness in one sentence, as one atonement paid for them both.
- 4 – “And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed”. Matthew 8:3
The Greek word for ‘will’ (Thelo) essentially means “I will always do it because it is my desire and longing to act on my nature, which is to deliver”.
- 5 – “…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed”. 1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV)
This one is another very clear declaration that healing is in the atonement. How are we healed? “By His stripes”. What are His stripes? They are the destruction of His body in the physical suffering leading up to the cross and on the cross itself. As He bore our sin, He bore our sickness.
- 6 – Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home”. Mark 2:9-10
Wait a minute! Jesus proves to the crowed that he can forgive sins by healing the paralytic?! How does Jesus healing of the paralytic tell the people that He can forgive sins? Because Sin and sickness are paid for by the same cross. Healing and forgiveness come from the same source in Jesus’ eyes.
- 7 – “Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save (Sozo) life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other”. Luke 6:9-10
Here Jesus uses a salvation term (sozo) for healing someone. This is the same word used for salvation itself. In the eyes of Jesus, salvation is not just a future promise of heaven, but a whole life right now. Body, soul and spirit!
I understand that many of you who read this have lost loved ones to sickness. I have too. Many of you will have prayed for some dreadful diseases and not seen the healing manifest. I have too. We have all taken bold risks to put our hands on the sick and have not seen the result. My question is this. Does this change what Jesus paid for? Do we need to come up with a reason why Jesus might not have purchased healing for all? Or can we see these times as invitations to believe the heart of God in a deeper way? Never a failure, always an invitation. Can we take these circumstances as opportunities to draw nearer to Him and his will in our hearts and perspectives?
You will see many healed as you settle in your heart the desire and intention of God to heal the sick. You do not need a special gift of healing, you have the Holy Spirit who gives the gift of healing through you (1 Cor 12:11)! You do not need a special anointing for healing, you have the anointing that abides, and it is never going to go out of date (1 John 2:27)! You do not need more faith, you have been given the measure of faith required to look just like your king (Rom 12:3, 1 John 2:6, 1 John 4:17)!
The bible only gives one reason for why we do not see healing every time which I will address in a future article. For those who cannot wait, read Matthew 17. That is where you will find Jesus speaking about it to His disciples. You may be surprised just how simple Jesus’ answer is.
I will not sacrifice my knowledge of the goodness of God on the alter of human reasoning so I can have an explanation of a seemingly unanswered prayer – Bill Johnson
Healing is in the atonement. The same blood shed for your eternal security in heaven was the same blood shed to reverse the effects of sin and sickness on the earth. This is the joy of the Kingdom of heaven! We are sons and daughters, privileged to see His glory manifest in powerful ways. We have authority over sickness and over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). I am not going to leave my incredible inheritance in Christ undiscovered, how about you? I invite you to lay your hands on someone who is sick today and command healing in their body, with Jesus’ perfect purchase in mind. Watch what happens when you do!
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18