Was healing included in the Atonement? is a question often asked by Christians pondering the topic of divine healing. A simpler and more broadly understandable question would be: “Did Jesus bear only our sins, or did He bear both our sins and sicknesses?” For that answer let’s look, not to man’s experiences, but to the Scriptures.
DID JESUS BEAR OUR SINS? YES!
Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
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, “…for he shall save his people from their sins.”
It was God’s intention, from even before Jesus’ earthly birth, that He would be the Saviour, 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).
Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
At the Last Supper, shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus clearly alluded to the blood He would soon shed at the cross “for the remission 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).
1 Peter 2:24 “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.”
Jesus bore 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.
Luke 24:47 “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
This message of the salvation that Jesus wrought 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 for “…repentance and remission of sins”.
So yes, to answer our opening question, Jesus did bear our sins. Now what about our sicknesses?
DID JESUS BEAR OUR SICKNESSES? YES!
Matthew 8:16-17 “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, .”
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, KJV): “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:”
Jesus bore the infirmities and diseases of the people 2,000 years ago. 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 to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). The Jesus who bore diseases in the first century is “the same” Lord who bears our diseases in this 21st century.
IN SUM, JESUS DID (AND STILL DOES!) BEAR BOTH OUR SINS AND OUR SICKNESSES
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: “Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy 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:
• 1) He would bear our iniquities (vs. 11). With prophetic future insight, Isaiah said, He carried the sin of many (vs. 12). The apostle Peter confirmed this (1 Peter 2:24): He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross.
• 2) Isaiah also saw the Messiah [Jesus] bearing our diseases: (Matthews 8:17, quoting from Isaiah 53:4).
Jesus did both these things while on earth twenty centuries ago. He still forgives sins and heals sicknesses today, because He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb. 13:8).
Look to Jesus the Savior for the forgiveness of your sins. Look to Jesus the Healer for the healing of your sick bodies. “Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:...“