Have you ever gotten weary in the space between God’s promise and its fulfillment? God’s people felt the same way in the Old Testament. In Numbers 21, we see the Israelites complain in the middle of the desert when they weren’t getting to the Promised Land as quickly as they would have liked.
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.”
Notice the tense of that last sentence: Jesus already has healed us. It’s done. We have been healed. We’re not going to be healed. That’s because the work of the cross was finished as soon as Christ said it was. Real faith, biblical faith, believes that Jesus has already provided everything that we need.
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.’”
Most of us have heard the story of the ten lepers that Jesus healed. Ten were physically healed, but only one returned to thank the Healer. Let’s take a look at the story in Luke 17:
“As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
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.
This was also the case with the man at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. As soon as Jesus healed him, this is what happened next...