Is. 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
When you ask people what the cross represents to them you get many different answers. For some the cross in life really has no meaning, it is simply a piece of jewelry that people may wear around their neck. To others it symbolizes their walk with Christ. In the days of Jesus though it had a completely different meaning. It was the most vial and barbaric form of punishment the Romans used for the worst of offenders. But what it should mean to the believer as revealed through the scriptures is a picture of what Christ has done for us, and we should never forget Jesus went to that cross as a proof of God’s love for all. This week I want to examine the three primary things that Christ did for us on the cross.
1. HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS – JESUS REDEEMED US FROM SPIRITUAL DEATH
Spiritual death is a result of the rebellion Adam committed in the Garden of Eden. The word “transgressions” means rebellious acts. The word “wounded” means pierced through. While on the cross after Jesus breathed His last breath the soldiers had come to break the legs of Jesus, and the two thieves that had been crucified with Him. When they came to Jesus, He was already dead. They wanted to make sure of this so one of the soldiers pierced His side with his spear, and when he did water and blood flowed out of His body. The price has been paid to redeem us from spiritual death.
Spiritual death means to be separated from God. This of course was the result of mans rebellious act of sin, which brought sin into the world and upon all of humanity. God had said to Adam if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would surely die. He did not instantly die physically, but he died spiritually because he was now separated from his Creator. The result of this has been far more than most realize in how this relates to us every day, as we will cover below. Included with redemption from spiritual death was Him being bruised for our iniquities, which refers to the guilt that came as a result of our sin. As far as the east is from the west, He remembers our sin no more.
Man before the fall received his sole source of worth and value in his Creator, but when he sinned he turned to the creation as his source of self-worth. This is one of the most important things to learn as a new believer in Christ Jesus. Even after you become born again you must now renew your mind to who you now are in Christ to obtain your value and worth in God our Creator, not in the creation; which includes other people. When you find your sense of self-worth in the creation not the Creator, it will keep you in bondage to the lies of satan. But Jesus paid the price for us to be redeemed from spiritual death and not only reunite us with the Father, but to once again find our sole worth in Him.
There are four truths in the redeeming work of Christ that reveal this new worth in our God and not in what we have of ourselves or who we have in our lives. Those four truths are justification, reconciliation, propitiation, and regeneration. The focus of this teaching is not to go in depth on these subjects, as I have other teachings that do, but let’s look briefly at these four truths that reveal our self-worth in our Creator. Without proper understanding of these truths and renewing your mind to them you will continue to live your life finding your significance in what you can do, or in what you have, or in the approval of other people. This leads to living a life of frustration and bondage in many different ways.
Justification means to have right standing with God. When you are born again you receive the gift of righteousness. This is what happens because of justification. You cannot do anything of your own effort to receive justification; it is the result of Christ dying for you on the cross. When you understand this truth you realize that your self worth is not found in your performance in life, but in what Christ did for you. Next there is reconciliation, which means to be restored back into an intimate relationship with God. This again is totally based on what Christ did for us. Because you have God’s approval as a child of God you don’t need to get man’s approval to feel good about yourself.
Propitiation is another of these four truths that relate to our being redeemed from spiritual death, which simply means that Jesus bore our punishment on the cross that we deserved. Often people think that God is punishing them for what they have done, but in fact He is not, as Christ bore that punishment for you. If we sin God is not punishing us, but we will reap what we sow. If we sow to the flesh we are going to reap corruption, but if we sow to the spirit we will reap life. Last but not least is regeneration. This means we can change anything about our life with God’s help for we have been made brand new. Don’t fall for the lie that your old fleshly ways are the way you were created and you can’t change. With God’s help we can change anything about our life.
2. THE CHASTISEMENT FOR OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM – JESUS REDEEMED US FROM POVERTY AND LACK
You may wonder how this phrase would refer to poverty and lack. The word for peace here is actually translated prosperity, wealth, or welfare. The word chastisement refers to Him being punished on our behalf so that we could also experience the prosperity or provision of God for our life. Scripture is very clear that God desires to take care of us. Even Jesus refers to the birds of the air whom the Father feeds, and the lilies of the field that the Father clothes. How much more will He not feed and clothe us. But God desires that we also have more than enough as Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 9 that we may help in doing the work of God.
2 Cor. 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Here we have scripture that clearly tells us that Jesus Christ, even though He was rich, He became poor for our sake so that we through His poverty might become rich. This happened as Jesus redeemed our lives on the cross. There are those who say this refers to spiritual poverty, but in fact one of the keys to properly studying scripture is too always keep what you are reading in it’s proper context. Paul is in fact writing here to the church at Corinth about their generous offering they are giving to help those in Jerusalem. So it is in fact referring to money. Jesus was not poor during His three years of ministry on the earth. He not only had wise men who brought great wealth to Him at the time of His birth, He also had prominent women of the day giving to His ministry as revealed in Luke 8:3. Besides this evidence, He had a treasurer, Judas, who later betrayed Him. Why would you need a treasurer if you don’t have any money? God has redeemed us from poverty and lack through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.
3. AND BY HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED – JESUS REDEEMED US FROM SICKNESS AND DISEASE
The third area Christ paid a price for us on the cross was in the healing of our bodies. There is no doubt according to scripture that this is a completed work in Christ Jesus available for all. Not only do we see Jesus healing people all throughout His earthly ministry, but His disciples did so as well. Jesus has in the Great Commission assigned the whole church to go and lay hands on the sick and they will recover. Jesus Himself said in John 14:12 that for all who believe in Him the works He did we can do also. It is not God’s will for us to be sick, but for us to be well and healthy in body.
For all who say healing passed away, for that to be true then faith would have had to pass away. Time and again you see Jesus telling people their faith made them whole. For healing to have passed away then faith would have had to pass away. Some will say healing isn’t for everyone, but that would go against what Acts 10:34 says, which tells us that God shows no partiality, and in verse 38 it goes on to tell us that Jesus was anointed by the Father and went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Healing is not for a few, just like salvation is not for a few, it is for all who will simply believe in the promise of God and take it by faith as their own.
The key for us to walk in these truths works the same as to how we got born again. Colossians 2:6 tells us that just as you received Christ, that is how you walk in Him, all that He has provided for you. You receive Christ by faith. When you pray you believe you receive new life and you have new life. You act upon the faith you have released for your salvation. The same is true for provision in our life and for healing as well. You believe you receive when you pray and then you act upon that faith. Faith must have corresponding action. Take time to meditate on what you have in Christ until it becomes a part of your inner consciousness. You then release your faith by believing you receive what He promised, and as Mark 11:24 states you will have it. Our part is to believe we receive, and God’s part is to see you have it. Walk by faith in all Christ has done for you and you will become a partaker of all God has for your life.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker