By His Stripes We Are Healed

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:5-6).

The Apostle Peter used Isaiah 53:5 in the same context as did Isaiah (1 Peter 2:22-24). We know that the prophets did not understand why Christ should suffer (1 Peter 1:9-12; Luke 24:25-26), but we are told that Jesus was perfected through suffering (Hebrews 2:9-10). Was Jesus born perfect, or was He made perfect? Stripes are defined as the livid and swollen marks of a blow; the same kind of marks we might describe as “black and blue.” They are not actually bloody wounds, but something made by pinching, beating, or scourging. Not only was our Savior scourged or whipped the day of the crucifixion, but He also suffered daily to do his Father’s will. The blows were not always external, but blows to his heart as He endured many who rejected the will of his Father (Matthew 23:37). The effect of his suffering produces spiritual healing in us; recovering us from our faults, as if we had been scourged ourselves when we follow in his steps. By faith we see the bruises inflicted on him, the black and blue spots made by beating, and we must remember that He suffered to show us how to endure to do right just like He did. Sin is often spoken of as a disease and redemption from sin as a restoration from a deadly sickness. Because of Jesus’ stripes, we know that our healing is possible. The healing referred to here is spiritual healing, or healing from sin. By his stripes, the sufferings He underwent, He was able to show us the way and run the pathway ahead of us, thus bringing healing to our sin-sick souls. Jesus was in all points made like we are (Hebrews 4:15), which gives us great hope that we can also suffer to overcome sin.

“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Pet 2:22-25).

Jesus had a mind to suffer in order to do right (1 Peter 4:1-2). Christ is our example of suffering (1 Peter 2:21), but why would the Lord command us to have a mind to suffer like Christ? We are specifically told in what sense we are to follow Christ, and that is through suffering. What happened when Jesus received the stripes? Somehow those stripes help to heal our spiritual diseases. Jesus is truly our example to follow (Hebrews 12:2-3). If we suffer like Christ did, then Christ is our example of suffering to do right. Christ endured the stripes in order to obey his Father, and we can endure suffering in order to obey our Father. We see how the prophet Isaiah depicts the suffering of Christ:
“Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:1-4).

Note that Christ was smitten of God. God used men to smite Jesus, but God accepts full credit for what happened. Most everyone in the world is ready to accept that Christ suffered for us (Isaiah 53:6), but the problem is that some are convinced that Christ suffered so we don’t have to suffer. We are all ready for our sins to be laid on him (Isaiah 53:5). If He had said by his blood we are forgiven, this scripture would pose little problem for anyone; however, He states that his stripes are what heal us. In what way do his stripes heal us? Notice the context of verse 21 found in the three previous verses (1 Peter 2:18-20). The point is that Jesus suffered in order to obey his Father’s commands. Jesus suffered the stripes of men when He had done no wrong to deserve them. Our Father makes it clear that Jesus did not deserve those stripes (1 Peter 2:22-24). Jesus stripes were our example to follow (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus did not go to the cross of his own will (Luke 22:42-46). Jesus’ will was not to go to that cross (Luke 22:42). Jesus learned to obey his father by that suffering (Hebrews 5:8). We are commanded to have a mind to suffer like Christ (1 Peter 4:1). We are called to partake in Christ’s suffering (1 Peter 4:12-13), and if we suffer to do right with Christ the spirit of glory rests on us (1 Peter 4:14). Our suffering is far more precious than silver and gold (1 Peter 1:5-7). Our suffering like Christ will result in God’s praise, honor and glory on that great day (1 Peter 4:2).

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

Beth Johnson

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.

Published in The Old Paths Archive