Isaiah 53:3-12 is a profound piece of scripture that leaves no doubt what the doctrine of the Atonement is all about -- God’s promise through Jesus to forgive our sins and heal our diseases.
Let’s look closely at 2 Hebrew words in he chapter and this will help us understand what is actually being said here: choli and makob. Any concordance will show you that the Hebrew word, for ‘pain’, choli, is always translated in the Old Testament as ‘disease’ or ‘sickness’ (eg Deut. 28:59, I King 17:17) and the Hebrew word for ‘suffering’, makob, is translated as both physical (eg Ex 3:7, Job 33:19) and mental sickness (Ps. 32:10, Jer. 30:15).
So let’s read the chapter bearing these 2 words in mind – I will mark where they appear in this chapter.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering (makob), and familiar with pain (choli). Like one from whom people hide their faces He was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain (makob) and bore our suffering (choli), yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. 9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer (choli), and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. 11 After he has suffered, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 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 the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
The chapter doesn’t need any explaining. Jesus came to take away our physical and mental diseases and afflictions and to forgive us of all our sins.
God demonstrates that he has forgiven sins by healing an individual. This is why it says in James that a prayer of faith will save the sick and if the person has committed any sins, then these will be forgiven him. (James 5:14-16).
Remember the story of the paralysed man let down on his bed by his 4 friends through the roof so that Jesus could heal him? (Luke 5:17-39). First he healed the man of his sins and then he healed him so he could walk.
God doesn’t change. Likewise, Jesus, who came from God, the one through whom all things were created, can’t change either. He healed everybody who came to him. One leper came to him and asked the question that is so often on our unbelieving lips: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean”. (Matt. 8:2) and Jesus touched him and told him, “I am willing. Be clean!”
Jesus is the same as he was yesterday. He is willing to heal all who turn to him on faith and trust.