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 2:24KJV).
Many have twisted this text to preach a health and wealth gospel. But that is a great error. We are no where in this text promised physical healing. It is only a wrong reading that leads to that interpretation. Our greatest predicament as human beings is not poverty or sickness. Therefore the offering of health and wealth as the solution to all our problems is false and no gospel at all.
Our greatest predicament as humans is sin, hence our greatest need is the forgiveness of sin.
Death: The Wages Of Sin
Romans 3:23 condemns all human beings under sin separated from the glory of God. To be separated from the glory of God is man’s greatest problem and no amount of money or good health can make up for that void. Sin is a sickness that plagues all humankind. And the wages of this sin is death the Bible says (Rom 6:23). We are not only sick of sin. We are dead in sin! “We are dead in sin” That is terrible. Looking at our ourselves we can identify the havoc sin causes in our lives and the lives of people we know. Sin is not only of earthly consequences. It has eternal consequences. Sin separates from God.
The prophet Isaiah wrote this of God’s people – a description that is characteristic of all fallen man:
Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil (Isaiah 1:4-6 ESV)
This is the state of our sickness and our sin; which the prophet graphically likens to sores and bruises that have covered the whole body from head to toe. This is the sickness of sin Christ died to heal us of that we might live to righteousness! How tragic that 1Peter 2:24 which deals with the grave situation of the life estranged from God by sin; and the glorious promise of redemption through the substitutionary sacrifice of the Lord Jesus will be cheapened to one of material significance!
Healed Of Our Sins And Restored Unto Rigtheousness
“by whose stripes ye were healed“. Peter quotes Isaiah 53:5 to tell us how we were healed. How? by Christ’s stripe. Healed of what? Sin. And how are we healed of this? Christ bore our sins in his body. That is good news. God has made a way to reconcile us unto Himself by putting our sins on Christ: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree”. This is what theologians call double imputation. Our Sin is imputed to Christ and His righteousness imputed to us. Oh, what good news. Our sins are all forgiven when we trust in Christ.
The result of this imputation is that we “should live unto righteousness“.
Righteousness simply is right standing with God as if we have never sinned. In Christ we who previously were sick and dead in sin are healed and made alive and reconciled to God: “And you hath he quickened [made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1KJV). “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”(2Corinthians 5:21KJV).
Have you experienced this exchange; your sin for Christ’s forgiveness? If not seek His forgiveness. On the other hand, if you have, you can break forth into doxology and sing:
Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
to his feet your tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
evermore his praises sing.
Praise the everlasting King!
Praise him for his grace and favor to his people in distress.
Praise him, still the same as ever, slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Glorious in his faithfulness!
Fatherlike he tends and spares us; well our feeble frame he knows.
In his hand he gently bears us,
rescues us from all our foes.
Widely yet his mercy flows!
Angels, help us to adore him;
you behold him face to face.
Sun and moon, bow down before him,
dwellers all in time and space.
Praise with us the God of grace!
~ Henry F. Lyte, 1834