The Truth About – “By His Stripes We Are Healed”
The two main verses in this Bible study are Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “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.” Isaiah 53:5 says, “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.”
Today there is the popular belief that when the Bible says, “with his stripes we are healed” it is talking about a physical healing. This belief is made popular by Preachers who tell people what they want to hear. These Preachers say that you can be healed if you have enough faith, because your healing has already been purchased by Jesus Christ through His stripes. They tell the people this for different purposes – to keep the people coming, to sell more books, to have bigger offerings. These Preachers teach people to lie by telling them their words have power, and by telling them to believe and speak that they are already healed even when they aren’t.
People will fall for these lies because they want to be healed. The Preachers take advantage of people’s desires and play on them. You’ve heard people say, “In Jesus’ name I don’t have the flu. I am healed” even when they were plainly very sick. They are lying when they talk like that, because the truth is they are NOT healed. Those Preachers are feeding off people’s infirmities, which is very evil in itself, and taking advantage of their desire to be healed. And many people are so desirous to be healed, that they will reach for anything. When a popular Preacher tells them Jesus died for their physical healing, they grasp it like someone who’s drowning grasps a life preserver.
This is Truth From the Book. The truth is, these verses are speaking of a spiritual healing – the healing of our soul. The context is our sins. Notice Isaiah 53:5 speaks of transgressions and iniquities. Isaiah 53:6 says, “the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:8 says, “for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” Transgressions and iniquities are other words for sin. Jesus healed the sin in our soul, taking it away.
When Jesus died for us, He died for our sins. He didn’t die for our physical healing, for if He did, then everyone who gets saved should be immediately healed of any disease or malady they have. Jesus didn’t die for our cancer or heart disease or infectious diseases or neurological disorders. It says He was wounded for our transgressions, our sins. When a person gets saved, he immediately receives eternal life. It is complete a salvation, not a partial salvation. In the same way, if Christ died for our physical healing, when a person gets saved their body would be made whole, not partially but completely. If Christ died for our physical healing, then every sinner who gets saved would be healed immediately. Obviously that doesn’t happen, and the reason that doesn’t happen is because Jesus didn’t die for our physical healing. He died to heal our soul from sin.
Remember, you can learn theology from Hymns. There are Hymns that speak of healing, but it is the healing of the soul, not the body. Here are a couple:
No Not One
There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus,
No, not one! No, not one!
None else could heal all our soul’s diseases,
No, not one! No, not one!
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Plenteous grace with Thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
It is only in the last 50 years or so that this belief, that Jesus died for our physical healing, has been propagated by many Preachers. There is NO evidence that this belief was the norm in previous generations. So let’s take a look at Bible Commentaries down through the ages. Notice how all these Commentaries speak about the healing of our soul from sin and despair.
Commentaries on 1 Peter 2:24
Adam Clarke’s Commentary
“By whose stripes ye were healed. The apostle refers here to Isaiah 53:4-6;
and he still keeps the case of these persecuted servants in view, and
encourages them to suffer patiently by the example of Christ, who was
buffeted and scourged, and who bore all this that the deep and inveterate
wounds, inflicted on their souls by sin, might be healed.”
Matthew Henry’s Commentary
“Christ’s death was designed not only for an example of patience under sufferings, but he bore our sins; he bore the punishment of them, and thereby satisfied Divine justice. Hereby he takes them away from us. The fruits of Christ’s sufferings are the death of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness; for both which we have an example, and powerful motives, and ability to perform also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. And our justification; Christ was bruised and crucified as a sacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of our souls are cured.”
“They were to learn patience of him, and to remember to their comfort that those stripes which he, the holy Son of God, condescended to suffer are to them that believe healing and salvation. Faith in the crucified Savior lifts the Christian out of the sickness of sin into the health of righteousness.”
Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
“Sin is a disease, a natural and hereditary one, an epidemic distemper, that reaches to all men, and to all the powers and faculties of their souls, and members of their bodies; and which is nauseous and loathsome, and in itself mortal and incurable; nor can it be healed by any creature, or anything that a creature can do. Christ is the only physician, and his blood the balm and sovereign medicine; this cleanses from all sin; through it is the remission of sin, which is meant by healing; for healing of diseases, and forgiving iniquities, is one and the same thing.”
“By whose stripes ye were healed — Of your spiritual disorders: evils infinitely greater than any which the cruelty of the severest masters can bring upon you.“
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
“The idea seems to be that the Saviour was scourged or whipped; and that the effect on us is the same in producing spiritual healing, or in recovering us from our faults, as if we had been scourged ourselves. By faith we see the bruises inflicted on him, the black and blue spots made by beating; we remember that they were on account of our sins. Ye were healed – Sin is often spoken of as a disease, and redemption from it as a restoration from a deadly malady.”
Commentaries on Isaiah 53:5
Gill’s Exposition of the Bible
“and with his stripes we are healed. Sin is a disease belonging to all men, a natural, hereditary, nauseous, and incurable one. Forgiving sin is a healing of this disease; and this is to be had, and in no other way, than through the stripes and wounds, the blood and sacrifice, of the Son of God. Christ is a wonderful physician; he heals by taking the sicknesses of his people upon himself, by bearing their sins, and being wounded and bruised for them, and by his enduring blows, and suffering death itself for them.”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
“We are healed – literally, it is healed to us; or healing has happened to us. The healing here referred to, is spiritual healing, or healing from sin. Pardon of sin, and restoration to the favor of God, are not unfrequently represented as an act of healing. The figure is derived from the fact that awakened and convicted sinners are often represented as crushed, broken, bruised by the weight of their transgressions, and the removal of the load of sin is represented as an act of healing. ‘I said, O Lord, be merciful unto me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee,’ Psalm 41:4. ‘Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed,’ Psalm 6:2. ‘Who forgiveth all thine, iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases,’ Psalm 103:3. The idea here is, that the Messiah would be scourged; and that it would be by that scourging that health would be imparted to our souls.”
It is clear that when the Bible says by His stripes we are healed, it is NOT talking about a physical healing, but a spiritual healing. The healing of our soul. The truth is, there are no verses that tell us Jesus died for our physical maladies. Jesus died for our sins.
Now let me make clear. I do believe in physical healing. I believe Jesus heals today. I believe in the power of prayer that can move God to heal someone. I believe in miraculous healings. I believe that we can anoint someone and pray over them for a healing. But I do not believe that Jesus died for our physical healings. If we are healed, then His stripes did contribute to that healing.