In 1 Peter 2:24, Peter makes an interesting statement about Christ: “He himself bore our sins on his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
For centuries, the Israelite people had enjoyed a special status—a unique relationship with God. They were the chosen people, the ones able to enjoy the presence and direction of God like no one else. For generations, they received promises of redemption, salvation, an eternity with Him…
Have you ever wondered what the Bible means by the verse that says, “By His stripes, we are healed?” Many people disagree on what this verse means in terms of healing—spiritual, physical, and otherwise. However, if we take a look at the Bible as a whole, we’ll see a pattern pointing both forward to and back to Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross—a sacrifice that bought our healing.
In Exodus 15, only 72 hours after the Israelites experienced one of the greatest miracles in human history…they were complaining. God had just delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians, parted the Red Sea, and closed it again. Three days later, and the Israelites were groaning because they had no water to drink.
In our last post, we looked at the story of the woman caught in adultery. Jesus showed grace and love to this woman, outsmarting the self-righteous crowd that came to condemn her. At the end of the story in John 8, we find that she calls Him “Lord.”
Most of us have heard of the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8. The religious leaders brought this woman before Jesus in an attempt to trap Him with a question: “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” Instead of humoring them, the Bible says, “Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’”
The word that these men used to address Jesus— “Master” —is only used in Luke’s gospel. It was typically used for a commander, to emphasize the authority of the addressed person. The key to this miracle was that all ten men came completely under Jesus’s authority. You see, Jesus is only responsible for the parts of your life that you submit to Him. Only the parts of our lives that are under the umbrella of God’s covering are guaranteed not to get wet. But many of us live lives half-in and half-out; and then we’re surprised by the fact that the devil has taken hold. These men saw Jesus and asked for cover.
Have you ever been through a storm that caused you to see God in a different way? Often, we learn much about ourselves, and our God, in the midst of challenges—when we reach the end of our own strength. This was the case for Jesus’s disciples in Matthew 14.
If you’ve ever seen a child open his or her gifts at a birthday party, you know that it’s human nature to care more about the gift than the giver. So often, we unwrap the gifts and blessings in our lives with the sole intention of enjoying them—not of thanking the giver.
Most of us would answer this question in the affirmative. However, there’s a story in John 5 that deserves close examination, where Jesus asks a man this very same question and gets another response. The man at Bethesda, who has been sick for 38 years—paralyzed physically—dodges the question entirely. Let’s take a look...