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Peter proclaims that our Lord Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the cross, so that we might be dead to sin in Christ and alive unto righteousness.
He then declares: by Jesus' stripes we are healed.
Some claim this is a reference to the certainty of physical healing, but the Scripture does not teach any such promise until the Resurrection. What then does Peter mean by this healing by Jesus' stripes?
The entire book of 1 Peter stresses the contrast of lostness in sin vs. holiness and good works wrought in the saints because of the Gospel. He exhorts us to follow Jesus' example of sinlessness, gentleness, and faith in the vindication that God will reveal to us before the world one day.
The reference is to Isaiah 53, where the prophet foretells how the Savior would be made a substitute sacrifice in the place of sinners, and would be punished for our sin. He describes that sin as "going astray like sheep, and turning to our own way." What a gentle, and yet tragic description of our rebellion against God!
Peter then explains what he means by healing: we had gone astray, but now have returned to Christ our shepherd!
This is in keeping with Christ's prior teaching, that His sheep would hear His voice and follow Him!
We were rebellious sheep, but now we follow our Shepherd in obedience. That is what the healing of Christ's stripes is: the taking away of our rebellion and desire to go astray from our Lord Jesus.
It is an astounding truth: that Christ's death not only takes away our sin and our judgment, but changes our hearts toward God.
Because our rebellion was laid on Christ and put to death in Him, we have been gloriously healed by His death!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...