With His Stripes We Are Healed
Isaiah 53:4-5, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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.”
It was with great suffering beyond our comprehension that our healings were paid for by the very Son of God, just like our salvation. When doing a study on this issue recently, I was able to see in even a greater way that we cannot allow this great benefit He purchased for us to be dormant in 2022 and beyond.
My burden is to help us think deeper and be encouraged to trust the Lord to even a greater capacity. If we can see the awful price in which He paid, we may be able to trust Him even more.
The Word reads in John 19:1, “Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him.” The torture He suffered to purchase our salvation was about as excruciating as what He had to suffer upon the cross. The Romans called this type of scourging “verberatio”, which was the worst kind of flogging sentenced by any of the ancient courts. To punish offenders, the Jews used milder whippings than what the Romans afflicted on convicts in comparison. In some cases, Roman whippings were brutal to the point of fatality. Most were struck 39 times. Its purpose was not only to cause brutal pain, but to humiliate and belittle. This was a punishment only used on slaves and non-Roman citizens (those who were thought of to be lesser in the Roman society).
The instrument used to deliver this great punishment was called a flagellum, which was much different than a bull whip. It is similar to the cat o’ nine tails used by the British of old, except that the flagellum was not designed merely to bruise or leave welts on the victim. This was a whip with at least three strands, each perhaps as much as three feet long, and weighted down with pieces of lead or bone. It was designed to lacerate. It struck the skin so that it would break open.
Church historian, Eusebius of Caesarea, gave accounts of such a scourging. He had reported that the lacerations caused even the inner most veins and arteries, and perhaps even the bowels, to be exposed to view.
Each victim of such scourging was bound to a post, stripped of his clothing, and beaten with the flagellum from the shoulders to the loins. This torture left its victim bloody and very weak with unimaginable pain, near the point of death. This illustration no doubt would help one see how our Lord could not bear His own cross (Matthew 27:32), as well as why He died before the malefactors on each side of him on Calvary (Luke 23:33).
Even before Jesus went to Jerusalem, He knew these things would surely come to pass, as read in Matthew 20:18-19. This He endured for us. He paid this brutal price so that by His stripes we can be healed. Be encouraged saints, for James 5:14-15 says, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up.”