4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. – Isaiah 53:4-5
The story of the cross is one that stirs many emotions in us. Reflecting on Jesus Christ sacrifice can cause intense sorrow. We can be instantly drawn into the experience. We are instantly transported to the foot of the cross and begin to experience his agony. Movies have dramatized the scene over, and over again so many times that it is easy to visualize. In our mind’s eye we will see the scene and be caught in the whirlwind of emotions that comes with the experience.
If you are like me tears will begin to flow. I tried to be tough when I watched Mel Gibson’s production of Jesus’ passion. Within a few minutes of the movie: I could feel the anguish of the lashes; the brutality of the blows; the sting of the sword being thrust into his side; the terror of the earthquake. It shook me to my core.
The moment the movie ended so did my emotional involvement. It switched off immediately. I begun an activity and my mind erased the memory and the experience.
When we move beyond an emotional experience we will see the lessons rooted in the sacrifice. We will not avoid the painful experience but will embrace the process to obtain the prize.
God does not want us to look away. He wants us to gaze deep within the story and reflect on the purpose of the sacrifice. We must ask these questions. Why was it necessary? What did mankind gain? What is in it for me?
Redemption?! Is that it! These are answers we must seek out. In the process we will discover that it is so much more. The triumph of the cross gave us tremendous benefits. Jesus underwent the most excruciating process there was to ensure that you and I are free from every works of darkness.
The stripes received on his back were no ordinary cuts. They were deep gashes that violently removed flesh. Layers of skin was peeled away to expose bones. Blood poured out of these wounds. Bandages were not applied. The gashes were deliberately made to ensure the prisoner bled out. The beating was only stopped when the prisoner was almost at the point of death. From then the blood was allowed to flow until death came.
Christ suffered utter brutality and mangling of his body to ensure we were freed from sickness. There is no sickness or disease that the blood of Jesus did not cleanse. The category or sub-category of illness does not matter. Whatever their label may be, the price was paid.
There is no illness that is outside of the healing power of Jesus Christ. His body was completely mangled so that our body can be made whole. He’s already healed us. We must accept that healing by faith.
Acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior provides an all-inclusive deal. In Jamaica there are various hotels that attempt to provide the ultimate vacation for tourists. All their needs are catered. To free them from the hassle of finding dining services, leisure activities, site-seeing locations and other recreational activities the hotel would offer them an all-inclusive package. The deal was their guarantee that they only needed to follow the planned programs of the hotel to have a really good time. Ventures out of the hotel were coordinated and done under the watchful eye of the tour guides and, if necessary, security personnel to ensure the guests were safe. We received an all-inclusive package at the cross. With it Jesus made one payment that covered our deal. With the victory of the cross, He also paid our cover charge.