Larger font
Smaller font
  • Results
  • Related
  • Featured
No results found for: "".
  • Weighted Relevancy
  • Content Sequence
  • Relevancy
  • Earliest First
  • Latest First
    Larger font
    Smaller font

    April 1905

    “He Bore Our Sicknesses” The Medical Missionary 14, 4.


    E. J. Waggoner

    The question has recently been asked, “What is meant by the statement that Christ took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses? How did he bear them?” The question might be answered by saying that it is enough for us to know the fact that He bore them, and that it does not become us to speculate as to the manner of it; but that would not be wholly satisfactory. It is a fact that it does not become us to speculate. Speculation in the financial world is dangerous, but in the spiritual realm it is fatal. Nobody has any right to speculate to the slightest degree on anything mentioned in the Scriptures. The Word of God is far broader and deeper than man’s mind, and where that Word is sent, human speculation is worse than folly. But, on the other hand, it is not speculation or presumption to search it to the very depths, and to the utmost bounds, everything that is revealed in the Scriptures. Not only so, but it is our duty to seek to know all that may be known, remembering, first, that the Bible reveals many things that it does not state in categorical terms, which are discerned only by him who searches as for hidden treasures; and, second, that when we have learned all that our minds can grasp, we are still infinitely below the fulness of the truth.MEDM April 1905, page 97.1

    If the Bible told us nothing about how Christ bore our sicknesses, it would be enough for us to know the fact; but it does tell us something about it, and that in the very place where the fact is mentioned. Evidently, this was told in order that we might be the better able to avail ourselves of the benefits of what he has done for us; and the ignorance of many on this point of revelation is the reason why so few are delivered from the sicknesses which Christ bore.MEDM April 1905, page 97.2

    Let us now read Matthew 8:16, 17, and see what it tells us: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”MEDM April 1905, page 97.3

    This tells the story plainly: Christ healed the sick, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself... bare our sicknesses.” That is to say, the bearing of sickness by Christ is the healing of it.MEDM April 1905, page 98.1

    But this does not clear away the difficulty from the mind of the questioner, for the thought at once arises, “If Christ has borne our sicknesses, why do we suffer them?” And this question, when asked reverently, is a very pertinent one. There can, of course, be no doubt that we who live to-day are included in the “our” of Matthew 8:17. We may read that verse, in Isaiah 53:4, whence it is quoted, with as much assurance as could Peter’s wife’s mother or any of the multitude who gathered about the house at set of sun. He bore our sicknesses; this we are to believe as a fact; but again the question comes, “Then why am I suffering from sickness?” It is well to ask this question; for it is very evident that Christ bore our sicknesses in order that we might be relieved of them; and if we are still bearing them, we ought to know the reason why; for since Christ has borne them, the fault must be wholly ours if we are oppressed by them.MEDM April 1905, page 98.2

    Perhaps it will help us if we read the words directly from Isaiah, with a little of the context. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows [sicknesses]; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Lord hath laid on him the iniquity us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6.MEDM April 1905, page 98.3

    Here we learn that Christ has borne our sins as well as our sicknesses. Now if one asks, “Why then am I dominated and oppressed by my sins?” our questioner would undoubtedly answer: “you do not need to be; if you are mastered by sin, it is only because you do not recognize and accept the Son of God your Saviour from sin; you make his sufferings of no effect, so far as you are concerned, by clinging to your sins refusing or neglecting to allow him to relieve you of your burden.” This would be a proper answer, and it applies equally to the question concerning our sicknesses.MEDM April 1905, page 98.4

    Just here particular notice should be taken of one point, namely, that it was not merely during the short life of Jesus of Nazareth in Judea and Galilee that he bore the sins and the sicknesses of the world. Seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, Isaiah spoke of it as a thing then in the past. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, carried our sorrows;” “he was wounded for our transgressions;” “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;” and “with his stripes we are healed.” It is true that when on earth in the flesh Jesus bore in his flesh all the sin of humanity, and was tempted and oppressed by it, and, moreover, that “his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men,” so greatly did he suffer; yet that alone does not meet the case in full, for it could not apply to those who were sick and sinful before that time.MEDM April 1905, page 98.5

    And now that we have before us all the difficulties of the case, we are prepared to appreciate the explanation which the Scriptures give. It is found in these truths: Christ was “slain from the foundation of the world.” His name is I AM, and he is “the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever.” He “through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God.” The life of Jesus in Judea and Galilee, with his sufferings, death, and resurrection, was but a drawing of the vail, that we might see what God has been doing for his creatures “from of old, from the days of eternity.” Christ is the living Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God; the Word which created all things; and this Word, since it now upholds all things, must necessarily bear all the curse that is on the earth,-all the sin and all the suffering. He bears our sins and our sicknesses, whether we know it and believe it or not; for “in Him we live, and move, and have our being;” but it is only as we recognize the presence of the indwelling Word (see Deuteronomy 30:11-14; Romans 10:6-10), and with all our hearts depend upon it, allowing it to control our lives, and to be our life, that we reap the benefits of Christ’s burden-bearing. Then we roll away-our burden of sin and sickness-upon the Lord, and he swallows it up in his boundless life.MEDM April 1905, page 98.6

    The living Word has borne the sin and suffering of the world from the beginning. The Israelites of old made Him to serve with their sins, and wearied him with their iniquities (Isaiah 43:24), and “in all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them and carried them all the days of old (Isaiah 63:9); yet many of them in anguish and in sin, because “they forgot God their Saviour,” and denied that he was among them. (See Exodus 17:7.) So, since there can no temptation happen to us, but such as is common to men, Christ has indeed borne our sins and our sicknesses; but we reap the personal benefit of his sufferings only when he dwells in our hearts by faith.MEDM April 1905, page 99.1

    It is in the miracles of Jesus that we see every phase of truth illustrated. They were recorded in order that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, we might have life through his name. (John 20:31.) The miracles of healing recorded in Matthew 8:16, 17 have taught us something of the bearing of our sicknesses by Christ, and another well-known miracle will make it still plainer. The reader can turn to the account in Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:24-34; Luke 8:43-48, and we need only to state the case in brief.MEDM April 1905, page 99.2

    There was a poor woman, whose life-blood was ebbing away, and was almost gone. She said to herself that if she could but touch the hem of Christ’s garment she should be healed, but she could with difficulty get near him, because a great crowd of people was about him, pushing and jostling him in the eagerness of their curiosity. At last she succeeded in touching his garment, and instantly she was made whole. Note that the disease was not simply stayed, so that she began to improve, but she was well immediately. Jesus at once asked who touched him, and when those about him replied in surprise that the multitude were pressing upon him, he said, “Somebody touched me; for I perceive that power is gone out from me.”MEDM April 1905, page 99.3

    This sets the case before us very vividly. At the same moment that the woman’s faith made a living connection between herself and Jesus, she received new life, and he lost correspondingly. The power, the life, that went out from Jesus, went into the woman. She received of his fulness, and he in turn took upon himself her emptiness. What she lacked was life, and that is what she received; but as her lack was supplied from the Lord, it is evident that her lack of life was transferred to him. Thus he bore her sickness, and thus he will relieve us of ours, if we but touch him as purposely as the woman did.MEDM April 1905, page 99.4

    This was not an isolated instance. We read that when he was in the land of Gennesaret, they brought to him all that were diseased in all that country, “and besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment; and as many as touched were made perfectly whole” (Matthew 14:34-36). Also on another occasion “the whole multitude sought to touch him; for there went virtue [power] out of him, and healed them all.” (Luke 6:19.) So we know that whenever anybody received life from him he suffered a corresponding loss. But lack of life is disease and death; and so he bore the diseases of all who were healed. As already stated, he bears them in any case, but it becomes effective to the sufferer only through the touch of faith.MEDM April 1905, page 100.1

    How may we personally experience the relief from infirmity that justly belongs to us, since Christ bears it? How may we touch at least the hem of his garment, and thus open the channel of communication? We may do it only by having our eyes opened to see that the “eternal life which was with the Father, and was manifested” in Palestine nineteen hundred years ago, is just as truly manifested to-day. God is not partial; he gives to us the same opportunities that he gave to the people of old. Christ says, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Now, as in the days of Isaiah, “the whole earth is full of his glory;” or, “his glory is the fulness of the whole earth.” (Isaiah 6:3.) But his glory is his robe of light (Psalm 104:2), and so we see that wherever we are, on the earth, on the sea, or even in the midst of the earth (Psalm 139:7-10), we are within reach of the hem of his garment and may touch it and be healed. Glory and power are synonymous terms. Compare Romans 6:4 and Ephesians 1:19, 20 the first of which tells us that Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, and the second that it was by the power of God. Therefore, all the power-God’s everlasting power and divinity-that is manifest in all creation, the power that-MEDM April 1905, page 100.2

    “Breathes in the air
    And shines in the light,
    That streams from the hills,
    And descends to the plain.
    And sweetly distils
    In the dew and the rain,” -
    MEDM April 1905, page 100.3

    is for our healing, if we have eyes to see, and faith to lay hold. To-day, as of old,MEDM April 1905, page 100.4

    “The healing of the seamless dress
    Is by our beds of pain:
    We touch Him in life’s throng and press
    And we are whole again.”
    MEDM April 1905, page 100.5

    But this touch must not be occasional and momentary, but continually, if we are to become perfectly whole. In our ways we must acknowledge Him. We must know that every motion, every heartbeat, is only by his divine power, which has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Thus, as our vision becomes clearer, and our faith stronger, we shall realize that “the power which worketh in us” is sufficient to do for us “exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20.MEDM April 1905, page 100.6

    E. J. W.

    Larger font
    Smaller font