By His Stripes We Are Healed?

   I’ve been sick a lot lately. Meniere’s Disease, bad reaction to a steroid for it, stomach infection, and now extremely high blood pressure. With that, has come a lot of prayers from people for me, and I am truly thankful for that. Several people, not just one, so please don’t feel singled out, have made reference that by His stripes (Jesus’) we are healed. I wish to correct this thought line, to show, His stripes were for nothing about my sickness or anyone else’s. It is an incorrect use of scripture. Understand, when I tell you this, I know full well, God is in the healing business. He does answer prayers for ailments, injuries, and so forth; however, the context of 1 Peter 2:24 has nothing to do with our physical self....it is about the condition of our souls!

 1st Peter 2:24-25

24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

    Peter was actually quoting a messianic prophecy made by Isaiah concerning the crucifixion and did this 400+ years before Christ was born. That verse is…

 Isaiah 53:5

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.

    Jesus was not beaten nor hung on the cross for the physical sicknesses we face in these bodies. It had nothing to do with Him being tortured so that we could feel better. Sin is a disease.....man was not created with it in the beginning, but it entered into us like a plague. Because of that sin, man was no longer worthy to be in communion or in the presence of God. There was nothing we could ever do to change that. Jesus changed that. By His stripes, the pain and torture He went through with the beatings and on the cross, by the precious shedding of His blood, that disease is healed. We can be made righteous through Him and only through Him. That is more important than any physical ailment or injury we'll ever suffer in this ragged bodies we have. That is what this verse is about, not the ailments, yet it is often misquoted in this context. Though God still heals the sick and lame, and though there is power in prayer and by calling on His name, His stripes have nothing to do with our physical ailments.

    Some have alluded to the 39 stripes and that they encompass 39 areas of physical healing. Again, when one realizes the context of why He was beaten, how Scripture truly declares it to be for our transgressions, this point is moot. But where did it come from, these 39 stripes? The Jews were accustomed to beating someone no more than 39 times. Paul referenced this himself in scripture where he told of the things he has suffered. Let’s look:

 2nd Corinthians 11:24

“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.”

    Of this is the assumption that Christ was also given 39 stripes, yet again, as already pointed out, this would go against its use against physical healing regardless if it were true. The fact remains though, this is an assumption. The accounts of Jesus being beaten are found in Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19. All of them reference only that he was scourged, none mention the number of times. It is significant to note it was not Jews who beat him, it was Roman soldiers, of which would beat upon someone until they grew too tired to swing again, or were told to stop. There would have been no 39 times either when one looks at the Messianic prophecies of our Savior.

 Isaiah 52:14

As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:

    He was beaten to the point of being unrecognizable almost to the point of death. These scourging were common place before crucifixions by the Roman Empire, and often times, one would die before they ever made it to the cross. The beatings the Jews gave, they were to make a point, not to kill, thus Paul even went through 5 of these beatings. The Greek word for “stripes” in the passage of  1st Peter 2:24 is the word “mwvlwypronounced “Molops”. It is singular in the Greek and that is important to know. Why? If it were plural, the Greek would demand a different word, Peter’s use of this word harmonizes perfectly with Isaiah 52:14, in that, the wounds were so many, and His visage so marred, it actually appears to be one wound due to their nature! And He did it all for you and me. Not to get over a cold, nor any other sickness, but to get rid of the disease of sin. Yes, He is still in the healing business, no, He did not die for your physical sicknesses, He received that beating, and died on the Cross, to save your soul.

 

In His Grace,

            Mike Harris



 

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