There are three wonderful truths about the atoning work of Jesus Christ that I want to briefly look at here.
Before I continue, it’s helpful to understand that faith has its anchor in the past. All of these things were done 2,000 years ago, so they cannot be undone. We just need to “believe the report.” (Isa.53:1).
1.) We were healed by His beating.
The first thing we need to see is that Jesus was beaten before He went to the Cross so that we would be healed–physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This means that all sickness and disease and oppression was dealt with when Christ was beaten on the whipping post.
The prophet Isaiah looks forward to this event, Peter looks backward…
“And by His stripes we are healed…” (Isa.53:5)
“…by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet.2:24)
There is controversy in the body of Christ over what type of healing is in the atonement, but there really shouldn’t be. Matthew gives us the divine commentary on what Isaiah meant. We see deliverance from demonic oppression and physical healing in view here.
“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.” ((Matt.8:16-17; cf.Isa.53:4)
I often tell people when I teach on healing to watch the Mel Gibson movie, “The Passion of the Christ” and not look away when it so graphically portrays His brutal beating. That beating–all of it–was for our complete healing. So let’s not rob Him of His reward by denying it.
We appropriate this historical fact by faith in His name. In this case, the name Adonai Rapha – Lord, our healer (Exod.15:22-26)
2.) We were completely forgiven–forever–by Jesus’ blood.
This means all sin–past, present or future. Hebrews tells us that He did it once and for all–forever.
“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb.10:12)
Because of Christ’s sacrifice, God is not holding our sins against us anymore. Beloved, do you understand this? Paul says it this way…
“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,
no longer counting people’s sins against them…” (2 Cor.5:19 NLT)
Now, He is dealing with our new nature. It’s about forming Christ in us (Gal.4:19; Eph.4:15). Paul says later, it’s not about penance or any other form of sin-management anymore, it’s about a new creation (Gal.6:15).
Welcome to the New Covenant!
The sad fact is, even though every human being that lives has God’s complete forgiveness for their sins, many will not receive this free gift. They will go into eternity separated from God, separated from all that’s good, even though they’ve been totally forgiven. Another sad fact, too many Christians live bound up in condemnation and shame because they think God is still angry with them about their sins. More on that another time.
3.) Our sin nature was nailed to the Cross.
The third wonderful historical fact of Christ’s atoning work is that our sinful nature was nailed to the Cross almost 2,000 years ago (Rom.6:1-14; Gal.2:20; Col.3:3).
As I said here, quoting the coroner of Oz, you’re “not only merely dead, you’re really most sincerely dead” to your old sin nature. Actually, I’ve written about this a lot on this blog so I’ll only briefly cover it here.
I also said here: our problem is not that we don’t understand Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It’s that we don’t see ourselves dead, buried, and resurrected with Him.
Jesus seemed to think that your past is gone…
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17 NLT)
“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Rom.6:6-7 NLT)
Beloved, do you know this?
What’s sad here, partly because of bad theology, is that too many Christians don’t know this. They’ve been taught they still have a sin nature and a new nature (I call “spiritual schizophrenia”!) They still see themselves as sinners so they sin by faith! Why do we keep grave robbing for Christ? Going back to the graveyard in a pathetic attempt to find freedom. YOU’RE DEAD TO THAT PERSON. Let your old self rest in peace! Stop acting, confessing, believing that your old nature is still alive.
Finally, we must also understand that the Bible sees these three aspects of the atonement inextricably linked together. For example, you cannot biblically separate physical healing from forgiveness of sin or from deliverance from our old nature. And all of them are appropriated by faith. Here’s how Peter tied them together…
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree,
that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness
—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet.2:24)
So…forget not ALL His benefits!
Beloved, ALL of these wonderful things are available to you by faith. All the promises of God are to you, yes and amen, in Christ (2 Cor.1:20). The psalmist sums it up beautifully, telling us not to forget any of these benefits available to us by faith in Christ’s atoning work.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)
What do you need today? Freedom from guilt and shame? Physical or emotional Healing? Deliverance from oppression? Fulfillment? Renewal? Don’t empower what Jesus has disempowered on the Cross another day. Believe the promises! It’s already done in Christ!
He is risen!
We have been raised with Him!
We have been given all things in Him!
It’s really GOOD news!