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In today’s YouTube video on the Bob Spradling channel, Rudy Ross will discuss the Ashes of the Red Heifer and how it helps us understand the message of Isaiah 53. I think you will find the interview with Rudy a help to your overall understanding of this chapter.
Today’s blog article will connect prayer for healing with the finished work of the Suffering Servant.
Isaiah 53 and Healing Prayer
Is there a Biblical basis to believe that God will answer prayers for a person’s physical health?
Isaiah 53 appears to state that Jesus’ sacrifice for sin included physical health.
Surely he has borne our infirmities
and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed. (Isaiah 53.4-5)
Christians readily accept Jesus’ sacrifice for human transgression and iniquity. When we tell the story of Jesus, we invite people to receive in faith the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
What about the phrases, “carried our diseases” and “by his bruises we are healed”? Do these indicate physical healing is possible through the work of the Suffering Servant, in addition to forgiveness and the gift of intimacy with God?
People trust their eternal life to faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and resurrection. Can people also trust the healing of their bodies to reliance upon what Jesus did for us?
If the answer is “yes” to both healing and eternal salvation, then what are the implications for our faith?
I believe the best way to interpret the Bible is by reading other Bible passages to help understand the complete message from God. As we read the Gospels, it is clear that healing was a major aspect of Jesus’ ministry.
Let’s read these examples to increase our faith in God’s willingness to answer prayers for health.
— Matthew 4:23-24 – Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them.
Let’s not miss that fact the Jesus “cured EVERY disease and EVERY sickness.” Jesus’ healing ministry inspired hope in people for healing and they brought family and friends to him for healing.
— Luke 6:17-19 – He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.
They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.
And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Why did people come to Jesus? He spoke the word of God with power and insight that was unique to him.
They also came to him to be “healed of their diseases” and cured from “unclean spirits.”
— Matthew 14:14 – When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.
Compassion is a frequent theme when we study Jesus’ life. This is one of several instances where Jesus helped someone out of compassion. The healing and deliverance ministry is connected to God’s abundant love and compassion for humans.
Someone has gone to the trouble of listing all 37 instances of Jesus’ miracles in the New Testament. Twenty-nine of the miracles involved healing or deliverance from demonic forces.
It definitely seems that the Suffering Servant’s ministry included healing as well as forgiveness of sins.
Christians today are encouraged to tell the story of Jesus and help other people find forgiveness for their sins through Christ. We also are given the ability to introduce people to our loving God by praying for their health.
An important Bible passage that speaks about the privilege and responsibility to join Jesus in his ministry is this:
— John 14:12-13 – Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.
I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
What did Jesus do? He announced the forgiveness of sins through his ministry. He healed people from all manner of diseases. Jesus set people free from the power of evil and demonic forces.
Jesus plainly tells us that we are to do the same works as he did. He commanded us to pray. When our prayers bring about God’s desired result in people’s lives, he is glorified and revealed for exactly who he is.
I hope this brief outline of healing prayer based Isaiah’s prophecy about Jesus will encourage us all to pray with confidence for the sick and those who need freedom from sin.
Obviously, the greatest gift of the Suffering Servant is the restoration of an intimate relationship with God. However, God is loving and compassionate. He desires people to be whole from their inside condition to the well being of their body.
About This Blog
Please join Rudy Ross and me on YouTube today with an interview about the Ashes of the Red Heifer.
I am indebted to John Oswalt for his insights. His two-volume commentary on Isaiah is very insightful.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood Baptist Church prayer team will pray for you.