In this final post on Divine Healing, though, I want to explore the crucial idea of healing being provided in the atonement of Christ. Some say that Jesus provided only a spiritual reconciliation by which we can ask God for healing. This is based upon the idea that the promise of healing in Isaiah 53:4-5 is a reference to spiritual healing only, a belief supposedly undergirded by a New Testament quotation of this passage in 1 Peter 2:24 where the context specifically describes spiritual salvation.
However, this is a very limiting understanding of the atonement which deprives many of the full benefits which are for this life as well as for the next. The same Old Testament passage is also referred to in another New Testament verse, Matthew 8:16-17 which clearly shows its application to healing of the body and soul.
Also, the word used in the original Greek of the New Testament for salvation is sozo but this applies to the three components of our being, spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). It is clearly applied spiritually (e.g. the context demands this in John 3:17 “…that the world through Him might be ‘saved'”, in Acts 2:21 “And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”, and in Luke 8:12 “…so that they may not believe and be saved”, etc.). It is also used, though, to describe physical healing in the New Testament, for example in the healing of a sick woman and the raising of Jairus’ daughter (in Luke 8:48 and 50) as well as in the healing of the leper who returned to praise Jesus (Luke 17:19). In regard to the soul, this word is used in the story of the demoniac who was healed (Luke 8:36, and was said in the parallel account of Mark 5:15 to be in his ‘right mind’). Given that demons afflict the soul and not the spirit (for instance, a Christian logically cannot be ‘possessed’, and the better biblical term is ‘oppressed’, anyway), we therefore see in Luke 8 all three renderings of this word used to relate to the three parts of the human make up!
After all, Jesus came to save all of me, not just a part of me. This salvation was purchased legally, even if the full reality of that healing is not always enjoyed due to the ravages and imperfections of this life (or sometimes through a lack of faith). When Jesus atoned for me, He atoned for all of me. I simply need to stand on the authority I have as a child of God to seek to receive what has legally been provided for me. Why would I not seek this when the alternative is to cave in to illness or pain and to merely seek God with a request as if to doubt that He really wants to give us whatever we ask in His name (John 14:14, 16:23)?
I trust that these posts have been helpful in stirring your faith to believe God to provide healing in your own life and perhaps through you for the benefit of others. Just remember, though, that God ultimately wants people to know Him personally through His gift of salvation and never forget that this is the ultimate appeal of miracles. The side benefits for our quality of living aren’t a bad bonus though!