Topical studies

Healing in the Atonement

1. The question

Did Jesus Christ lift the curse of sickness for all men and give us deliverance for our physical bodies by His death on the cross? Did He bear the sickness of the whole world , as well as pay for the sins of the whole world through this sacrifice?

2. The Old Testament record

(John 5:39 KJV) Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me .

To search the Old Testament for understanding about the work of Jesus is valid for He also pointed to them as being prophetic references to His own coming and life. The books of the OT contain much that is in the form of shadows and types, pointers and signposts of the real thing which came when the Master was sent by the Father to manifest the promises of the old covenants. Some of these will be discussed in the following.

3. The Passover in Egypt

Exodus 12. This chapter speaks of the beginning of the sacred feasts required of Israel by God at the beginning of their release from slavery to the Egyptians. The whole of this feast represents in allegoric form the death of the Lamb of God on the cross. The remarkable thing that occurred was that of that two and a half million people , “there was not one feeble person among their tribes”

In 2 Chron30:20 King Hezekiah kept the Passover for the first time in many years. A great revival resulted and healing came upon the people.

4. The brazen serpent

Jesus spoke of this and likened Himself to it.

(John 3:14 KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

In the original story the Israelites were dying from the bites of serpents. God provided a healing way by having a brass serpent raised on a pole. If they looked at this they were healed.

5. Jehovah Rapha

(Exo 15:26 NIV) He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

6. Atonement and healing

A great plague struck down the people and 14,700 died. Aaron made an atonement for the people and they were delivered.

(Num 16:47-49 NIV) So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. {48} He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. {49} But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah.

Similarly the Levitical law for the leper connects atonement and healing.

(Lev 14:18 NIV) The rest of the oil in his palm the priest shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed and make atonement for him before the LORD.

7. A psalm of David

This Psalm speaks of healing and forgiveness of sin.

(Psa 103:3 NIV) who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

8. Spoken of prophetically

Isaiah spoke prophetically of healing and this was confirmed in the New Testament.

(Isa 53:4 NIV) Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
(Mat 8:16-17 NIV) When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. {17} This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”

9. Salvation and healing connected

Jesus shows that these are part of salvation. In Mark 2, he says: (Mark 2:9-11 NIV) Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? {10} But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic, {11} “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

10. Sickness in the church

James shows that sins are forgiven and also our sicknesses as part of the atonement.

(James 5:14-15 NIV) Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. {15} And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well ; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

11. We were healed

Notice the past tense pointing back to the cross.

(1 Pet 2:24 NIV) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed .

12. Jesus is still the same

No one was ever turned away who came to him for help. This continues to this day. Salvation and divine healing is for all who come in faith.

(Heb 13:8 NIV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.