An angel had appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that his virgin wife-to-be Mary was miraculously pregnant by the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was instructed to name the child Jesus, “because he will save his people from their sins.”
It was God’s intention, from even before Jesus’ earthly birth, that He would be the Savior, the One who would bear the sins of mankind and thus open the way to salvation by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
At the Last Supper, shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus clearly alluded to the blood He would soon shed at the cross “for the forgiveness of sins.” He was crucified that very week, and rose from the grave on the third day, and as a result “has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5).
Jesus took our sins. He bore them and the punishment due to them on the cross. This truth is unmistakable and is held dear by all genuine Christians. Our sins had separated us from God the Father. Then the only perfect sacrifice, Jesus the Son of God, came to earth and bore our sins and sin’s penalty upon Himself at the cross on Mount Calvary.
And this message of the salvation that Jesus brought through His death and resurrection is to be preached in all nations. The Son of God died for us, He bore our sins, the perfectly just and holy One on behalf of us lost sinners. He rose from the dead and commissioned His people to tell the world this Good News and to encourage them to faith in Jesus Christ and to “repentance for the forgiveness of sins…in his name.”
So yes, to answer our opening question, Jesus did bear our sins. Now what about our sicknesses?
The inspired writer of Matthew’s Gospel is generally believed to be the apostle Matthew, one of the Twelve. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew speaks of Jesus healing the sick as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s beautiful prophecy, where the prophet wrote (53:4, NIV): “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering.” Various Bible versions translate the words of verse 4 in the clear sense of physical healing:
These versions’ translations of Isaiah’s Messianic prophecy (53:4) are entirely consistent with and in agreement with the inspired Gospel account of Matthew (8:16-17). He wrote that Jesus “healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases’.”
Jesus bore the infirmities and diseases of the people 2,000 years ago. And Jesus still bears the infirmities and diseases of those who come to Him in faith for healing, because the Bible declares that He is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The Jesus who bore diseases in the first century is “the same” Lord who bears our diseases in this 21st century.
This is not a new thought that started with the New Testament in the first century. Far from it. Many centuries before Christ came to earth, the Psalmist King David wrote: “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:2-3). A few centuries later — still long before Jesus’ time on earth — the prophet Isaiah wrote his famous 53rd chapter, called by many “the Fifth Gospel.” Isaiah saw and wrote of this twofold blessing the Messiah would bring:
Jesus did both these things while on earth twenty centuries ago. And He still forgives sins and heals sicknesses today, because He is “the same yesterday and today…” (Heb. 13:8).
Look to Jesus the Savior for the forgiveness of your sins. And look to Jesus the Healer for the healing of your sick bodies. “Forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:2-3).
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©2017, James H. Feeney.
Pentecostal Sermons and
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.