He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53: 5

 

When we are sick or injured it is not at all hard to accept the idea that somehow it could all be made better. Whatever the cure, if the pain is severe enough, we are usually willing to accept that cost in order to be whole again. Some of these health concerns just improve and go away with the passage of time. Others require the skillful care of doctors or even extreme medical procedures in order to get them under control. There are still other situations where we will live with the illness or the disability for the rest of our lives. Finally, some conditions end this life. In each of these situations, the person who is suffering and those close to her desire some form of healing.

 

Underlying all of these illnesses is a more fundamental and a deeply profound form of brokenness. This is that fatal rogue gene that was introduced into the DNA of our world through the selfish desire of our ancestors to take full control, to “be like God”. Just like all other challenges and struggles in this life, our physical pain and disease serves one great purpose. Although God does not cause it, our suffering can serve to bring us closer to Him. God responds in love and compassion when Satan attempts to cause us to focus our attention on ourselves by filling us with the fear and the anxiety that comes naturally when we are sick or injured. Christ speaks into these troubled times with a voice that assures us that He has been there before us and that He is here with us in and through it all.

 

Whatever pain we may be feeling, Christ has endured it twenty fold. However doubt and concern may cast their shadows across our hearts, God’s word responds in abundance. From that dark and catastrophic day at the beginning of history when humanity’s suffering and separation from God was conceived, God has provided the cure to everything that brings about suffering and pain in our bodies and in our souls. Christ was present in the decision that God made to sacrifice Him for our sakes, and He engaged the life that lead to that permanent solution to our brokenness with complete and passionate surrender to the will of the Father. Our bodies are temporary, yet they are important to God. He does provide the healing and the relief from pain that is required for us to live out His plan for us; yet, He is far more concerned with the state of our hearts and our minds. We can take it upon the absolute assurance of God that, through Christ, He has healed us from everything that truly requires a cure.

 

 

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He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53: 5

 

At the end of the meal there is always the check, and after the car comes out of the shop there will be an invoice; for, in most of our interactions with people we get something and we are expected to give back in return. So, we act like humans which means that we often act badly. We sin, and God presents us with his invoice; it is our lives that are demanded in payment. We can try to make the choice of how the bill gets paid; in so doing, we pull out our wallet, but there is no cash. We hand over our platinum card, but it has been cancelled, or we offer to work off the debt, and we don’t have the needed skills. We can even pledge our homes, our jewelry, and all of our other possessions, but God already holds the title to them. This is truth facing time, for we have nothing that God wants or needs that we can give to Him.

 

There is more to this story. When we take a closer look at the bill in our hands; there is a strange and totally unique clause in the Terms and Conditions paragraph. It states that under certain, specific circumstances the bill has been paid in full; the demand is satisfied, and the document is for filing purposes only. At a moment in time, on a little knoll outside of Jerusalem all of the evil that the world could summon was focused on Jesus. Every life invoice that would be charged against every person who would ever live was stacked on top of Him; and although the weight of all of our sin was greater than the forces that are generated at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean, Jesus took it on willingly. God loves us all so much that he gave His Son to pay the price. Jesus loves us all so much that he endured unimaginable agony in order for every one of us to be close to Him forever.

 

So, that special “Paid in Full” clause states that this bill is paid upon acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Lord and surrender of one’s life to him. It’s a simple price; these are easy terms when the size of the bill is considered. Isaiah wants us to look at two things here. People who are still carrying around the unpaid invoice, people who do not know Christ, must be shown how important it is to take care of this matter and how easily it can be done. People who do know God but who are still trying to pay back what they believe to be a loan from Him need to understand that Jesus paid the entire bill, and that payment was a gift, not a loan. The disease that sin caused in our souls has been healed. So, Christ wants us to focus our energies on sharing that story with the people who are still living with God’s unpaid demand on their hearts.