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  • Writer's pictureKristina Trott

Jesus bore our sins and our sicknesses

Jesus’ work of salvation included the healing of physical and mental illnesses and the forgiveness of sins, the healing of the spirit. I’d like to look at what Isaiah had to say about Jesus bearing our sins and what it meant when He bore our sins and our diseases.

Surely he took up our pain and bore (nasa) our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. (Isa. 53:4 NIV) Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore (nasa) the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isa. 53:12 NIV)

You will notice that after the word “bore” I have written the Hebrew word nasa in brackets: Jesus bore our sins (v12) and bore our diseases (v4).

The word “bore” goes back to the Levitical law. In Leviticus 16 Aaron the high priest had been given instructions to receive 2 young goats from the people of Israel. He was to throw lots and one goat would be chosen as a sin offering and the other, the scapegoat, was to be let go into the wilderness. It is said of the scapegoat that it bore (nasa), v22, all the iniquities and sins of the people of Israel. The scapegoat was a substitute for the sinners that it represented. It bore the punishment that they deserved because of their sins.

In the same way, Isaiah is presenting Jesus as our substitute for all of our sins and all of our diseases. Jesus completely bore the sin and diseases of many, he carried them right away, out of the camp into the wilderness where they would never be found again: as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed them (Ps 103:12).

This verse in Isaiah is actually quoted by Peter where he says, "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." (1 Pet 2:24). Sin-bearing and sickness-bearing are here shown to be the results of Jesus’ sacrifice: OUR pain, OUR suffering, OUR transgressions, OUR iniquities, OUR peace, OUR sin and OUR healing.

Having achieved so much for our complete redemption from sin and healing, we can only exalt Jesus, the King of Heaven:

“Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven; To his feet thy tribute bring! Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, Who like me his praise should sing?”

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