For years I have always read Isaiah 53:5, “by His stripes we are healed”, and applied it to my life in a corporal sense; relating it to this physical world and my daily life; but I had a new insight to this scripture this morning; a deeper understanding that goes beyond this present, physical world. I was reading Hosea 6:1-3-
Hos 6:1 "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. 2 "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."
After reading these verses, the Holy Spirit stopped me. I pondered the first verse again.
"Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us
Lately I have been reading the prophets and the Old Testament from the point of view to seek out and find Jesus in the Old Testament. Jesus said the volume of the book is written of Me. He also, after He was raised from the dead, that evening, He met two men on the road to Emmaus. It was then that the bible tells us that, beginning with Moses and the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the scriptures, Lk 24:27. That excites me! So I have focused my attention on the Old Testament, to find Jesus on every page; and usually as you find Jesus, you also find out God's plan and how it relates to us, the Church.
So I read the first verse in Hosea chapter 6, and I agree that He has healed us and I agree that He has bandaged us, but what does it mean that He has torn us or that He has wounded us? This just didn’t sit right with me. I don’t believe that God beats us up or causes or allows bad things to happen to us to teach us a lesson. Our God is a righteous God. And I understand that there has to be a judgement for sin. Sin cannot go unpunished. This is why Jesus came and paid the price for our sin on the cross. All the judgement and wrath of our sin was placed upon Him, “the chastisement of our peace was upon Him”, Isaiah 53:5. So when I come across a scripture like Hosea 6:1, that alludes to God beating us up, I always take a deeper look and usually find that there is a treasure buried there; as is the case in this verse.
Now with Old Testament events and prophecy, you must always look at it in two ways; the present sense and the foreshadowing implications of the future sense. The events and prophecy of the entire Old Testament was put in place for the one goal- to reconcile man with God. This was the plan before the foundation of the world. Before God even created man, He knew man would sin and He knew He would have to send His Son to us to be the reconciliation for that sin. Everything in the Old Testament points toward Jesus and is His plan for the reconciliation of man with God.
Now, in Hosea 6, Hosea is prophesying over Israel, because Nebuchadnezzar is going to bring Israel into exile, that is the present, practical look at this verse, but I am convinced that everything God does, He does on purpose and can be related as a type or foreshadowing on something yet future. So when the text says He has torn us and He has wounded us it made me pause.
If you look at the text in the Septuagint translation, you will find that the word “torn” is a present tense verb in the indicative mood. This means that it is something that happened in the past and continues to have effects up to and including the present time. This Greek word is harpazo, which is the same word for the rapture or the catching away of the saints. Also, when you look closely, you will find that the word “us” isn’t even in the original text. The translators added this, but it really isn’t there. So now this starts to take on a whole new meaning. It wasn’t Israel who was torn away but someone else. Now if you study the word “wounded” this is a future tense verb. The translators wrote this as “has wounded”, but it should have been written “will be wounded” and again the “us” doesn’t even exist. Now let’s read this with this new information.
“Come let us return to the Lord, for He has been snatched away, but He will heal us. He will be wounded and He will bandage us”.
This now makes perfect sense. Hosea is talking about Jesus! Because of man’s sin, God could no longer fellowship with man. Sin was creating a barrier and it was as if God was snatched away from man. But He will heal us. He did this on the cross. From Hosea’s point of view, the cross was still future. We, as Christians look back at the cross and believe it happened. Sin, now, no longer is a barrier between God and man. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities and because of this He has bandaged us. Repaired and healed us with the Father. Reconciliation between God and man is why Jesus came and died on the cross. Jesus came to heal us. So when Isaiah 53:5 says “by His stripes we were healed”, now I look at this as our reconciliation with the Father. Jesus healed me of my sin and now I can have a personal relationship with Him because the barrier of sin has been removed.
I also believe healing in a physical sense is still available today, but I don’t think physical healing was the main purpose of Isaiah 53 and Hosea 6. Reconciliation with the Father was the main purpose and physical healing is a type and foreshadowing of that healing.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with believing that Jesus has healed our physical bodies. In fact God wants us to be made whole without sickness and disease. Also, there is nothing wrong with believing God for financial stability and the comfort of this physical world. But we have to be careful not to make the healing of our physical bodies and the comfort of this world the ultimate prize. Jesus is the prize and our focus should never turn from Him. This world is temporal and our physical bodies are also temporal. We must rest in Him, seek Him, abide in Him, and know Him. He must be our main focus, and then all the other comforts of this life will be taken care of.
Hosea touches on this in the following verses.
2 "He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. 3 "So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth."
So let us press on to know the Lord because He has raised us up to sit together with Him in heavenly places!