I have a confession to make. We’ve all heard and used the term “by his stripes you are healed.” mainly referring to some type of illness that’s come upon us. The Christian world uses it again and again…but I have used this in vain. I’ve used it religiously. I’ve known that Jesus is healer and I believe that He can heal. I’ve seen it. I understand His sacrifice on the cross and what He’s done for us. Really I do!
But then God really dealt with me.
These past few months were an emotional rollercoaster for me. A lot of life changes took place. And through that God took me through the ultimate pruning season from the brokenness of healing me of my past, facing inner demons and uprooting a lifetime of hurts to continue on a path of ultimate wholeness. In my life I’d been betrayed, rejected, abused, outcasted and left to the ashes of my insecurities. Let’s just say when Jesus found me I was a hot mess. And as He continues to work on me I realize everyday how imperfect I STILL am and how desperately I need Him to get this whole thing right.
Maybe you are dealing with rejection, depression, insecurity or even illness and you’re thinking, What chance do I have at ever being whole? Will the rest of my life go on in pieces like this? Jesus says He can complete me and that I’m healed by His stripes but what does that even mean? What even makes this possible for ME?
Last night I found myself in tears poured out relentlessly at His feet after reading Isaiah 53 as it hit me in ways it never had before. The scriptures went on about the chronically despised and rejected life of Jesus. Jesus! The Son of God! The word says He was a man of sorrows acquainted with the deepest grief. He was pierced for OUR rebellion and crushed for our sins. Beaten so we could be whole and whipped so we could be healed. He was oppressed and treated harshly but never said a word. He was like a lamb led to the slaughter. He was mistreated all the way to the grave where He even died a criminals death. He experience a lifetime of undeserved anguish.
But most of all, He did it all for us.
That in itself is it’s own heart-wrenching message of God’s selfless love. A message of how Jesus’ human experience gave Him the full understanding to completely empathize with all of His heart for our fears, our doubts, our insecurities and brokenness. He can be right there with us in the depths of our anguish and feel what we feel, because He was a human with a lifetime of the deepest grief.
But I want to go back for a moment to verse 5 where it says he was beaten so we could be whole and whipped so we could be healed. What does that even mean? How does Jesus being whipped correlate with our current real-life pains. How do his bruises heal us? We have an idea of Jesus being healer. We can sing the words to the tune. But how well do we understand how this can make us whole? I mean truly whole.
Follow me cause I promise I’m getting somewhere. Remember back in the old testament when the children of Abraham had to make sacrifices to God? They had a high priest who went to God on behalf of their sins. I mean, we didn’t even go to him to atone our own forgiveness! God lived in the temple. God was very, well, separate from us. He was over there and we were over here. He watched over us but interaction was kind of a touch and go and maybe some words of clarity from a prophet or two.
But when JESUS came as God in the flesh He finally made the crossover to where the spirit of God could live in the human body. He made it so that God could actually enter us. So that He could live in us through His holy spirit. He made it so that God could finally be on the inside of us and do a real inner work that an animal sacrifice could never do! He knew that our only chance of truly being healed on the inside was by Him making this crossover with His sacrifice. So when the Bible says He was beaten so we could be whole or whipped so we could be healed or that by His stripes we’re healed; what were really saying is that Jesus was made a human sacrifice, beaten and bruised and hung on a cross so that when He resurrected we would not only have a chance of salvation because we owed a price we could never pay BUT so that our bodies could become the new temples that His spirit could enter. And once His spirit was able to enter us He would be able to renew our minds, begin a new creation in our souls and give us a Spirit of power and a sound mind.
That was extremely wordy, I know. But I really want you to get this. JESUS is our chance at being made whole. He is our only chance at inner healing because it is His spirit that renews us if we’d let Him do the work.
When God is inside of you He is able to uproot everything that’s been camping out in the depths of your soul that never should’ve been there. Maybe past experiences and hurts that took their root maybe even years before you came to Christ.
When God is inside of you He can and wants to come face to face with your sin and doubt and fear and hurts and SPEAK to it. He speaks the truth of who He’s created you to be and why you’re here and burns up every lie that is not of Him with all-consuming flames like a fire that purifies gold from its residue.
When His Spirit has full reign on the inside He can purify you.
But you have to let him. You have to be willing to come face to face with everything you’re too scared to face because it just might wreck you. You have to let him in. You can be made whole, and how do I know this? Because Jesus made it possible for YOU to have His Spirit. He gave you the only chance at ever being renewed and that chance is letting Him in. You might cry…a lot. You might realize you’re not as okay as you’ve masked yourself to be all this time. You might fall deeper and deeper into the roots of the past. But He will fill your voids. And He will be the light that brings you out. And He will replace your sorrows with strength. And you can authentically be made whole.
I have a few practical tips for you:
- Get on a Bible reading plan this way you’re getting a daily intake of His word over your life so He can speak to your soul.
- Have someone you can talk to about your sorrows honestly and openly. Someone who has a godly perspective that you can trust.
- Take anything out of your life that will drag you further and further from His Spirit- that could be certain music, TV, certain people, lifestyle choices, social media. Turn down the volume of your life in this world to sit under His voice
- Be in reality of what’s hurting you so you can deal with it in reality, instead of letting camp out in the subconscious of your life.
- Know that God cares about you as if you were the only person in the world. He’s always there waiting for you to seek Him, to turn to Him so He can do the healing He’s always wanted to do for you.
I pray this was helpful for you. I really do. God wants us to live in freedom and be made whole so we can experience this life in abundance and be at our fullest potential so we can be there for others. My favorite part about the story of Christ is that at the end of Isaiah 53 in verse 11 it goes on to say that when He sees all that was accomplished by His anguish He was satisfied. Because of His experience it would “make it possible for many to be counted as righteous.” One life of sacrifice for the good of many. He looks at it all and decides it was all SO worth it! That WE were worth the anguish and sorrow and lifetime of grief. It blows my mind the amount of love and selflessness Jesus has for us. I was in tears of awe because of who He is and the man He was on Earth to take on so much of what He didn’t deserve for the sake of everlasting love. What other love is there like this in the world. What other love can compare. There is no greater love than the love of Christ for us.