We expect God (the Holy Ghost) to heal our bodies today, because of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus. In that, He atoned for our sicknesses as well as for our sins.
In Isaiah 53: 4 we read, “Surely He (Christ) hath borne our griefs (kholee—sicknesses), and carried our sorrows (makob—pains).” “Kholee” (sickness) is from “chalah”—to be weak, sick or afflicted.
In Deuteronomy 7:15 we read, “The Lord will take away from thee all sickness (kholee).” This word is translated sickness in Deuteronomy 28: 61; 1 Kings 17: 17; 2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 8: 8, and other places.
“Makob” is translated “pain” in Job 33:19, “He is chastened also with pain (makob).” In Jeremiah 51: 8 we read, “Take balm for her pain (makob).” Then Isaiah 53:4 should read, “Surely He (Jesus) hath borne our sicknesses, and carried our pains.” This is the correct translation.
Now let’s examine the verbs in Isaiah 53, “Borne” (nasa) and “Carried” (sabal).
(a) The Hebrew verb “nasa” means to bear in the sense of “suffering punishment for something.” Leviticus 5: 1, “And if a soul sin . . ., then he shall bear (nasa) his iniquity.” In Isaiah 53: 12 we have the true meaning of “nasa” set forth. Isaiah 53: 12, “And He (Christ) was numbered with the transgressors, and bare (nasa) the sins of many.”
Now how did Christ bear our sins? Vicariously, as our Substitute. This is the very same verb used in Isaiah 53:4, “Surely He (Christ) hath borne (nasa) our sicknesses.” We all admit that this verb (nasa) in Isaiah 53: 12 teaches us that Christ bore our sins vicariously; so all unprejudiced minds must admit that this very same verb (nasa) in Isaiah 53: 4 teaches us that He (Christ) bore our sicknesses vicariously.
Jesus bore our sicknesses vicariously:
Yes, the very same verb (nasa) is used of bearing our sins in Isaiah 53: 12, as is used in Isaiah 53: 4 of bearing our sicknesses. The clear teaching therefore is that Christ bore our sicknesses in the very same way that He bore our sins.
(b) “And carried (sabal) our pains.” This verb “sabal” (carried) also means “to bear something as a penalty or chastisement.”
Isaiah 53:11, “He (Christ) shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied . . .for He shall bear (sabal) their iniquities.” Now how did Christ bear our iniquities? Vicariously, as our Substitute. Then He bore or carried our pains in the very same way, for Isaiah declares (Isa. 53:4), “Surely He hath borne (nasa) our sicknesses, and carried (sabal) our pains.”
When you remember that the words in Isaiah 53: 4 for “griefs” (kholee) and “sorrows” (makob) literally mean “sicknesses” and “pains”; and when you remember that the verbs of Isaiah 53:4, “borne” (nasa) and “carried” (sabal) are the same two verbs used in Isaiah 53: 12 and Isaiah 53: 11 to express the tremendous fact that Christ bore vicariously our sins and our iniquities, how can you escape the logical conclusion that Christ died for our sicknesses in the very same way that He died for our sins?
Young’s Translation: (Isa. 53: 4) “Surely our sicknesses He hath borne, and our pains He hath carried them.”
Leesers’ Translation of Isaiah 53: 4: “But only our disease did He bear Himself, and our pains He carried.”
Alex. Maclaren, commentator (Vol. on Isa., p. 98) : “It is to be kept in view, that the griefs, which the Servant (Christ) is here described as bearing, are literally sicknesses, and that similarly, the sorrows may be diseases.
Hebrew thought drew no such sharp line of distinction between diseases of the body, and those of the soul, as we are accustomed to draw. All sickness was taken to he the consequence of sin.
Matthew 8: 16, “When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed of devils; and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick; (17) That it might he fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying. Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses.”
Peter is also our witness to this great fact that bodily healing is in the Atonement. 1 Peter 2: 24, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree . . . ; by whose stripes (molopi—bruise) ye were healed.” Peter here states, “(1) that Christ bore our sins on the cross, and (2) that by His stripes ye were healed.”
This agrees exactly with Isaiah 53: 5, “But He was wounded on account of our sins, and was bruised because of our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and by His bruise (by the bruise of Him) we are healed.” Peter here (1 Pet. 2: 24) clearly teaches that Christ not only suffered, bled and died for our sins, but also for our physical healing.
Paul, as well as Isaiah and Peter, witnesses to this same great fact that “bodily healing” is in the Atonement. 1 Corinthians 6: 19 Paul says, “What! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Both body and spirit have been bought with a price. What was the price paid to thus purchase our body and our spirit? The Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul also teaches this same great truth, that Christ died for our sicknesses as well as for our sins, in Galatians 3:13: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us.”
In Deuteronomy 28: 15-47, you will find that every kind of sickness and disease is included in the curse of the law. Deuteronomy 28:15, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses (katarai) shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, . . . (21) The Lord shall make pestilence cleave unto thee, . . . (22) The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation. . . (27) With the blotch of Egypt, and with emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch . . , (28) The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart, etc., etc.” Deuteronomy 28:15 calls all these sicknesses, which would follow disobedience to God’s law, curses (katarai).
“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse (katara) of the law, being made (having become) a curse (katara) for us.”
Since sickness was one of the curses (katara) of the law, and Christ died to redeem us from the curse (katara) of the law by becoming a curse (katara) for us (substitutionary atonement). Therefore, according to Paul’s teaching, “bodily healing” is in the Atonement. In the light of Isaiah 53: 4 and Isaiah 53: 11 and 12, this is what we would expect Paul to teach.
As adapted from the work of… T. J. McCrossan, B.A., B.D.