The Stripes of Jesus
The work of Jesus on the cross dealt with our entire being. Our spirit has been set free and made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ. The rest of our being has been taken care of by the stripes Jesus bore in His body. The stripes Jesus received came from a whip, and that whip tore and separated His flesh until blood flowed from the wounds. His body was literally torn, that ours could be brought back together. Sickness desires to tear our body apart. Jesus’ desire is to cause the flesh of our body to be brought back together again—to be healed! Healing is the uniting and bringing back together of what disease has parted.
The blood was for our spiritual life and the stripes were for the whole of our natural life. The stripes not only represent physical and emotional healing, they also represent prosperity. The Bible not only speaks of bread in relation to communion, it also speaks of casting our bread (money) on the water. The bread represents both divine physical healing and the supplying of every need we may have in this natural life!
It is interesting to note in the Word of God, stripes are used for chastening. When Jesus went to the cross, He was chastened of God. You may ask, “Why would God chasten Jesus?” The reason is because Jesus took our place. We are the ones who should have been scourged. We are the ones who should have been crucified. Our blood should have been shed. Our body should have been beaten. Even if someone other than Jesus were willing to go to the cross on our behalf, their death would not save us. We needed Jesus Christ. He took our punishment. He took our chastisement.
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. (Isaiah 53:5)
The stripes were used for discipline, for chastening. Jesus took our place. He took our stripes. He took our punishment on the cross so we would not have to be punished. He took our punishment so we could have His reward. He took our sickness so we could have His divine health. He took our sin so we could walk in His righteousness. He took our poverty that we, through His poverty, might be made rich.
The stripes and blood of Jesus are to be used in our everyday lives. When Jesus made reference to the communion elements, He said “As often as you partake of the communion elements, do it in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
An arrogant person might say, “I’ve been born again. Why do I need to eat and drink the communion elements? The work of the cross has passed.” But every believer needs to remind himself of the power of the cross still at work in his or her life every day. Communion reminds me I did not save myself. I cannot heal myself or bring blessings to myself. Jesus is the One Who brought every spiritual and natural blessing into my life.
And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias (Isaiah). And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. (Luke 4:16-18)
Verse eighteen is a quote from chapter sixty one of Isaiah. Notice, Jesus begins by saying, “he (God) has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Preaching of the gospel is the first thing mentioned because it is the most important item listed. Being born again is more important than anything else in this life.
Next, He goes on to say, “…he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Out of the four healings mentioned, only one refers to physical healing. The remaining refer to healing of the heart and the healing of emotions. Physical healing, the recovering of sight to the blind, is outnumbered by the amount of healing for bruised and broken hearts.
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. (Acts 10:38)
This scripture says Jesus healed all that were oppressed of the devil. The “all” could have been oppressed only by sickness and disease, but the oppression of the devil goes beyond sickness and disease.
If there are physical symptoms in your body, you are oppressed of the devil. Or, you could be physically sound but an emotional wreck. It is comforting to know the stripes of Jesus went beyond your physical body; they went deep into the very emotions that drive you each day. God wants to do a work in your life. He wants to clean out some of those old ways of thinking that have held you back for so many years. He wants to clean out some of that old “baggage” you have been carrying around for years. He wants to cleanse you deeply and make you whole!
The Stripes of Jesus Bring Peace
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 (sicknesses), and carried our sorrows (diseases): 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. (Isaiah 53:3-5)
In the midst of a passage speaking of Jesus being wounded and bruised for our sins and sickness, peace is mentioned. The “chastisement of our peace” is more than spiritual peace with God. The stripes of Jesus are also for peace with men.
Although we may be walking in peace with God, there are times when strife comes between us as believers. The stripes of Jesus were for more than the opening of blinded eyes and deaf ears. The stripes of Jesus bring peace into our everyday lives! Jesus’ stripes go below the surface symptoms into the very heart of disease to remove strife and produce peace. It does no good for God to heal you of physical symptoms if the core and source of the sickness remains.
If there is strife between you and your spouse, you need healing! You might say, “Well, I thought I could just cast them out of the house!” Your wife may be casting the devil out of you and you may be casting the devil out of her, but nothing has changed. What is needed is a good dose of the stripes of Jesus to be placed in that home for the healing of strife and bringing of peace into that situation.
With His Stripes We Are “Cured”
Isaiah 53:5 says, “…with His stripes we are healed.” The Hebrew word for “healed” is rapha and is also a title that has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ. In studying this word, I found it has more of a connotation than “healed.” The Hebrew actually says, “…with His stripes we are cured.”
What is the difference between being “healed” and being “cured”? The difference is, when someone is healed, the sickness or disease can return. But when someone is cured, it is gone for good! God is not in the temporary business, He’s in the eternal business! It is good to meditate on the fact Jesus is more than the Lord our Healer; He’s the Lord our Curer! Jehovah Rapha is the Lord that cures us and with His stripes He has brought a curing to our bodies. But He has also brought a curing to our souls!
If you have no sin in your life, you can have peace with God every day. And if there is sin, you can be forgiven by using 1 John 1:9. Occasionally sin enters through strife that happens between believers. People may rub you the wrong way and you react to it. Then you rub them the wrong way. When you go to church you pray, “Please God, don’t let them sit near me.” You then look across the aisle and there they are. You may pray, “Lord, please let them go to the early service so I won’t run into them.” Then you open your eyes and almost run into them in the hallway. You may grit your teeth and try to put up with them, but gritting your teeth is not the answer. It is beyond your capability to bring healing to the situation. It will take the stripes of Jesus.
Stripes Run Deep
Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart. (Proverbs 20:30)
In the Old Testament, “the inner depths of the heart” was an idiom for the emotions. Proverbs 20:27 says, “the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of the heart.” Only the Holy Spirit can bring healing to damaged emotions. Most of us know what it feels like to be betrayed by someone. That betrayal hits us in the pit of our stomach. It is painful, but it is not the same as physical pain; it is emotional pain. The emotional pain can even cause a physical reaction in our body. We need to understand the stripes of Jesus run deep into the hurts and wounds which come from people who have betrayed us. His stripes go into the depths of our emotions—into the inner depths of the heart. Jesus was anointed to heal the broken-hearted and set at liberty those who are emotionally bruised.
The Stripes and Righteousness
Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
For what glory (praise) is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults (wrongs), ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well (virtuously), and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (1 Peter 2:18-20)
Verse eighteen begins by addressing household servants, but this can also apply to employees. Labor unions do not cause unity. Demanding your way does not cause unity. When you are a Christian, there is a higher cause. When servants are told to be subject to their masters “with all fear,” the Greek word for “fear” is “phobos” and the English word “phobia” is derived from it. The meaning indicates the servant is to have an intense reverence for his or her employer. The verse continues by saying you are to have an intense reverence not only for good bosses, but also for bosses who are unreasonable. You are to be submissive whether the boss is good or bad. If the boss is unfair and difficult, take it to the Lord in prayer. You either need to submit to him or quietly find another job.
Verse nineteen says, “For this is thankworthy…” The word “thankworthy” in the Greek is “charis” and is the English word “grace.” We receive grace from God, but we must also extend grace to others. Walking in grace toward a good boss is not too difficult, but when we have an unreasonable boss, we put a greater demand on His grace.
This verse continues, “…if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully…” The word “grief” is actually plural and indicates many types of grief. God’s grace is available when we suffer wrongfully or unjustly.
The word “charis” is also used in verse twenty for “acceptable.” It could be said, when you suffer for doing what is right, it is grace with God. But if your suffering is a result of being late every day, being lazy on the job, and leaving early, there is no praise in that behavior. When you do your job as unto the Lord, work diligently, and then suffer for it, God’s grace is available to you.
Jesus left us an example.
For even hereunto were ye called because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
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 judges righteously: (1 Peter 2:21-23)
When Jesus was reviled, He reviled no one. When He was threatened, He threatened no one. Jesus committed Himself to God because He knew God would judge the situation “righteously.”
The word “righteously,” in the Greek means “to judge equitably.” You can take your cause to a grievance committee. Or, you can take your cause to others around you, but this verse says the One you should ultimately take it to is God, because He judges all men equally. When you are persecuted because you are a Christian, just remember they did the same thing to Jesus—and He won! Matthew five tells us when we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we are blessed. If you are persecuted because you are doing wrong, there is no glory in that. But when you are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, you can shout and rejoice, because great is your reward in heaven (Matthew 5:10-12)!
Verse twenty-one says, “For even hereunto were ye called…” Part of your calling as a child of God is the fact you will suffer for being a Christian. You may have to interact with unreasonable people. You will even encounter unreasonable Christians and may think, “I thought Christians were supposed to be wonderful people.” It is true there are some very wonderful Christians, but there are also those who are very difficult. Some Christians may even demand more of you just because you are a Christian. Basically, if it is not immoral or illegal, this passage is telling you to rise to the occasion. Just as Jesus turned it over to God when He suffered unjustly, you too, need to turn it over to God.
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. (1 Peter 2:24)
This verse is telling us the stripes of Jesus were also given so we could live a righteous life around those who pressure us. This entire passage seems to be totally unrelated to healing until we read verse twenty-four. Prior to this verse, the predominate topic deals with relational issues, avoiding strife and bitterness, bosses who are unreasonable, bad employees, other Christians mistreating us, the normal pressures of life. And when we begin to think, “I don’t deserve this!” we must remind ourselves, Jesus didn’t deserve it either. He took it anyway and God rewarded Him. We must daily pick up our cross. If it were God’s design, we would completely avoid persecution, troubles, and trials, He would have raptured us the moment we were saved. But He left us here to walk in love with those who are difficult to deal with and with those who take advantage of us. This is not to imply that employers do not deal with employees when necessary. It is simply saying part of our calling is suffering for righteousness’ sake and we can deal with all these relational issues with the stripes of Jesus.
The Stripes for Daily Living
Verse twenty-four does not say sin is dead; it says we are dead to sin. After we are born again, if we are mistreated by others, we do not give in to the temptation to revile them. We are dead to sin. The stripes of Jesus took our mistreatment to the cross. His stripes made us whole. He took our sin to the cross, forgave us, and through His stripes we walk free, not only from sickness but also from envy and strife! Jesus’ stripes brought healing into our lives!
For ye were as sheep going astray; but are not returned unto the Shepherd and the Bishop of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25) Isaiah 53:6 is very similar. He says, “All we like sheep have gone astray…” But Isaiah was addressing sinners and Peter is addressing saints.
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (manner of life) of the wives. (1 Peter 3:1)
“Likewise” brings this teaching right into our homes. The stripes of Jesus brought healing to more than just the physical body. Jesus’ stripes bring healing to any situation whether it is an unreasonable boss on the job or mate in the home. Do you need a scripture to stand on to minister to a failing marriage? Do you want to see strife come to an end in your marriage relationship? Why not confess and stand on “with His stripes we were healed”?
His Stripes Are Sufficient
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. (Isaiah 53:10)
The Hebrew word for “grief” is our English word “sickness.” The Hebrew word for “sin” is “asham” and means “guilt.” Jesus died for your guilt. The stripes of Jesus run so deep into emotional healing, they go right to the root of the sickness or disease you may be struggling with. Perhaps you have gone from one prayer line to the next trying to receive your healing because you are trying to get rid of the symptoms when there is a root cause you have never dealt with. The stripes of Jesus can go right to the root, into your very emotions, to heal you completely. Jesus also came to heal the brokenhearted, to bring deliverance to the captives, and to set at liberty them that are bruised!
Applying the stripes of Jesus to your life does not guarantee you that your unreasonable boss will change, or that another individual coming against you will change. But the good news is that you will be changed! There may still be strife in the office, but it no longer has to affect you. Through the stripes of Jesus, God will give you peace in the situation you are facing.
Someone may have treated you unjustly or treated someone you love unjustly and your heart is crying out for justice. The truth is, you may see justice in this life, but it is not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is you will one day see justice in heaven, and you can receive healing before you get to heaven! Heaven will be the great equalizer. We will see some justice while on earth, but some who have committed crimes, even horrendous crimes, will not be caught in their lifetime. Justice will one day be served in heaven. Until then, the stripes of Jesus can go deep into the wound of your heart to bring healing.
How deep are His stripes? Not only are they deep enough to bring physical healing, they are deep enough to heal controversy, to heal strife, to restore peace and to heal emotions. The stripes of Jesus run deep!