Scripture clearly teaches the provision of healing in the atonement.
Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, in ‘Pursuit of His Presence’ say, concerning our salvation:
“The word salvation includes a whole lot more than being born again and going to heaven when you die. It actually means “material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension; preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness.”
The atoning sacrifice on the cross provided for our entire being, not just our spirit, but our soul and our body as well.
The Bible says that “the chastisement of OUR peace was UPON HIM”. The word ‘peace’ in this verse from Isaiah 53 is the Hebrew word “shalom”. It includes not only our spiritual state, but our total being; our health, prosperity, peace, safety, security, welfare and wholeness. All of these were provided for in the very same sacrifice made for our sins.
In this session we will look at the doctrine of healing as taught in the Scriptures, and particularly the truth that the provision for our healing was provided at Calvary. The same sacrifice that brought freedom from sin, also delivered us from the power of sickness. Both were dealt with in the person of Jesus Christ.
Where did sickness come from?
In the beginning all things were created perfect. It was only with the fall of Adam that the created world came under a curse. The result of the fall was the entrance of sin into the human spirit, the entrance of fear into the human soul, and the entrance of disease and death into the human body.
The original sinner was satan, in whose heart sin was discovered (Ezek 28:15). Through him sin entered the heart of Adam and the generations that followed, bringing them into the same destroying bondage that satan himself fearfully labours under to this day. Sickness and disease are direct results of this awful rebellion, and with ‘death’ (separation from God) came a multitude of means whereby the consequences of sin are manifest in the human body.
Gloria Copeland her booklet, ‘God’s Will for your Healing’ says this concerning the origin of sickness:
“Our Father is the God of Love and from the beginning has desired for His people freedom from the curse that came upon the earth when Adam committed high treason.
Adam’s sin of high treason was not God’s will. Adam was a free man and ruler of the earth. God had given him this domain and Adam by his own will made Satan lord and father over him.
The nature of spiritual death replaced God’s life in Adam’s spirit. Sickness came into this world order on the wings of spiritual death. Man was not sick before he died spiritually. Adam’s sin was not God’s will – neither are the results of that sin God’s will. Satan, through the Fall of man, is the origin of the curse and all its provisions.
Sin is manifested in the spirit. Sickness is manifested in the body Both are the result of Satan and the rulership that man committed to him in the Fall. Both are works of evil. Neither is from the hand of God.
If God’s will had been sickness and death, He would have placed them in the Garden Himself. He would not have wrought sickness or sin by the hand of His enemy.” (page 33)
She later states:
“There was no sickness before man became one with Satan. Sin is the root from which sickness came. As sin is the manifestation of spiritual death in the heart of man, sickness is the manifestation of spiritual death in the body of man.” (p 69)
Furthermore, after satan is cast into the lake of fire, there will be no death, no sorrow and no pain on the earth (Rev 21:4). Satan is the source of all these afflictions.
At Calvary, every evil result of the fall was reversed. Jesus not only dealt with sin, but destroyed the power of sickness as well.
Healing Is In The Atonement
Jesus Christ broke the curse brought upon the human race through Adam by becoming a curse Himself:
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),” (Gal 3:13 NKJV)
Christ came to destroy all the works of satan, including sickness and disease. Every result of satan’s unnatural entrance into the created world was dealt with, in and through Christ:
“He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1John 3:8 NKJV)
One of the main ‘works’ of satan today is the horrible work of sickness and disease. Christ, the atonement, and God’s anointing, are designed to destroy this work completely:
“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38 NKJV)
Just as we enjoy the amazing deliverance from sin’s penalty and power in this life, and in the world to come full deliverance from even the presence of sin, so, as believers, in this life we enjoy the down payment of bodily redemption, healing from sickness and disease, and in the world to come the full glorification of our physical bodies.
The renowned teacher and evangelist, Dr R A Torrey, wrote in his book, “Divine Healing”:
“The atoning death of Jesus Christ secured for us not only physical healing, but the resurrection and perfecting and glorifying of our bodies…the gospel of Christ has salvation for the body as well as for the soul…Just as one gets the first fruits of his salvation in this life that now is, so we get the firstfruits of our physical salvation in the life that now is…Individual believers, whether Elders or not, have the privilege and the duty to ‘pray one for another’ in case of sickness with the expectation that God will hear and heal.”
The Scriptures testify that we are healed in Christ, just as much as we are forgiven in Christ
I can discover abundant testimony to the provision of healing in the atonement throughout the Bible.
Old Testament promise, provision, and prophecy concerning Healing
The following examples illustrate how God reveals Himself as a healing God:
“I AM the God that Healeth Thee”
He calls Himself “Yahweh Rapha”, a covenant name promising His covenant people healing as they remain in covenant with Him:
“and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.”” (Ex 15:26 NKJV)
The Covenant names of God in the Old Testament are more than mere designations. They are revelations of the very core and character of who our Father IS! He is healing and health! No sickness and disease proceeds from Him.
We quote again from Gloria Copeland:
“Healing was not introduced during the ministry of Jesus, nor is it only a New Covenant blessing. This comes as a surprise to many who are trying to believe that God wants to heal them. God has always provided healing for His people through His covenants.
He revealed Himself as the Great Physician when He told Israel that if they would obey His Word, none of the diseases of Egypt would come upon them. He said, ” … For I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26).
When God gave Israel the blessing of the law, He said if they would hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord and be careful to do His commandments, the blessings would come upon them and overtake them.
He placed Himself as Israel’s healer, Jehovah-Rapha. Healing was not an automatic blessing but was conditional to diligently obeying His Word.
“Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psalm 107:17, 19-20). Disease came through disobedience to the law. Forgiveness for that disobedience brought healing to their bodies.”
The Israelites were healed and strengthened through the same Passover sacrifice that delivered them from the bondage of Egypt.
“He also brought them out with silver and gold, And there was none feeble among His tribes.” (Psalm 105:37 NKJV)
There was not one feeble or weak among the thousands of abused and mistreated slaves who made their miraculous exit from Goshen that fateful night. The Passover lamb pictures Christ, our passover, who not only rescues us from the bondage of sin, but also from weakness and affliction in our body!
He is not only the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), He also takes away sin’s bodily counterpart, sickness!
The atonement is pictured again in the incident involving a brazen serpent.
The full story can be found in Numbers 21. Israel had sinned against God and as a result a plague of serpents has invaded the camp, many were poisoned and dieing as a result. In response to the cries of His people and the prayer of Moses God provided an answer to their dilemma.
In response to God’s instructions,
“Moses…made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” (Num 21:9 NKJV)
Jesus Himself gave a New Testament interpretation to this prophetic event:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:14-15 NKJV)
We were bitten by the serpent, satan, and the poison of sin was destroying our life. Jesus, as our substitute, took upon Himself the very nature of the serpent, he “became sin” (2 Cor 5:21), that we could be healed and saved when we look to Him for salvation.
The Mosaic Covenant made provision for physical healing from every sickness and disease
The curse of the law includes sickness and affliction as a result of turning from God (Deut 28:21,22,27,28,35, 59-61).
The blessing of God, and the results of walking in obedience to Him are the direct opposite, and include preservation, protection and health.
Furthermore, the Bible declares that the cross has once for all freed us from the curse of the law! (Gal 3:13)
The Old Testaments scriptures also record other healings such as Naaman (2 Kings 5) and Hezekiah (2 Kings 20).
The prophets declared the healing power God, and of the coming Messiah’s mission which included physical and emotional healing:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,” (Psalm 103:2-3 NKJV)
“But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings…” (Mal 4:2 NKJV)
Isaiah Chapter 53
The most powerful insight to the atoning work of Jesus the Messiah in the Old Testament is found in the 53rd Chapter of Isaiah. In relation to the doctrine of healing the Holy Spirit Himself offers commentary on this portion of Scripture, clarifying that the healing spoken of is bodily as well as spiritual:
“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”” (Matthew 8:16-17)
Of these verses in Matthew and Isaiah, F F Bosworth, the author the famous book, “Christ The Healer” states:
“The same Holy Spirit who inspired this verse quotes it in Matthew as the explanation of the universal application by Christ of His power to heal the body. To take any other view is equal to accusing the Holy Spirit of making a mistake in quoting His own prediction.”
Bosworth continues, “I will here quote the learned translator, Dr. Young, in his version of the Bible (Young’s Literal Translation) from Isaiah 53:
Verse 3: He is despised, and left of men,
A man of pains (Heb., Makob) , and acquainted with sickness (choli),
And as one hiding the face from us,
He is despised and we esteemed him not.
Verse 4: Surely our sicknesses (choli) he hath borne,
And our pains (makob) he hath carried them,
And we-we have esteemed him plagued,
Smitten of God and affiicted.
Verse 5: And he is pierced for our transgressions,
Bruised for our iniquities,
The chastisement of our peace is on him,
And by his bruise there is healing to us.
Verse 6: All of us like sheep have wandered,
Each to his own way we have turned,
And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him
The punishment of us all.
Verse 10: And Jehovah hath delighted to bruise him;
He hath made him sick (choli);
If his soul doth make an offering for guilt,
He seeth seed – he prolongeth days.
Verse 12: …With transgressors he was numbered,
And he the sin of many hath borne,
And for transgressors he intercedeth.”
Bosworth then asks the question a little later in the same chapter (Chapter 2: Did Jesus Redeem us from our diseases?):
“If the body were not included in redemption, how can there be a resurrection? How can “corruption put on incorruption,” or “mortal put on immortality?” If we have not been redeemed from sickness, would we not be subject to disease in Heaven, if it were possible to be resurrected irrespective of redemption? Some one has well remarked, “Man’s future destiny being both spiritual and bodily, his redemption must be both spiritual and bodily.” Why should not the “last Adam” take away all that the “first Adam” brought upon us?”
Gloria Copeland also highlights these same truths on page 68 of ‘God’s Will for your Healing’:
“The entire fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is about the substitution of Jesus for man. It says, “Surely he hath borne our griefs…” Young’s Analytical Concordance says choli, translated griefs, means “sickness, weakness and pain.”
Surely He has borne your sickness, weakness and pain! Allow yourself to receive the magnitude of what God is speaking to you.
Jesus was smitten of God with sin and sickness in order for you to go free. Verse 6 tells us, “…The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Verse 10 says: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief….” (According to Dr Young, the word grief means “to make sick” and should be translated, “He has made Him sick”)
According to the Word, what did Jesus do with your sickness? He bore it for you. It could not be God’s will for you to be sick with the sickness that Jesus suffered for you.”
New Testament Fulfillment in Christ
Old Testament prophecy concerning healing was fulfilled in Christ
We considered in the last section the Holy Spirit’s commentary regarding Christ’s fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Matthew 8:16-17.
“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”” (Matt 8:16-17)
Peter also declares the fact of our healing, stating that it is a now an established fact, “we were healed…”.
Just as the Old Testament saints were able to look forward in faith and receive healing through the Messiah, we now look back at the accomplished work and receive healing:
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1Pet 2:24 NKJV)
New Testament Redemptive terminology includes physical healing
Jesus tells us that as we look to Him we will be “saved”. The word translated as “saved” in the NT is the Greek word “sozo”
Strongs #4982. sozo, so´-zo; from a primary sos (contraction for obsolete saos, “safe”); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): — heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
This word is used to describe both spiritual healing (salvation of the soul) and physical healing.
– Forgiveness of sins (Luke 7:50)
– Salvation of the soul (Mark 16:16)
– Physical healing (Luke 18:42; Mark 5:23; Acts 14:9)
– Demonised being delivered (Luke 8:36)
in a similar way to David in Psalm 103:2-3, James 15:15 couples spiritual and physical healing together when he says:
“And the prayer of faith will save (sozo) the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:15)
The following Gospel parallels are drawn from Bosworth’s classic work, accenting the dual work of the atonement. As Gloria Copeland says, “The cross pronounced a double cure for the ills of mankind”.