Healed By His Scars

Healed By His Scars

Donald Taylor

“Where Sin Abounded Grace Did Much More Abound” —Rom. 5: 20.

At the opening of the Book of Isaiah, God has a controversy with Israel against whom He calls heaven and earth to witness. “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters,” He labels them. “They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.”

“Why should ye be stricken any more?” He asks them. The punishment that had resulted from their misdeeds had not turned their hearts back to Him. They had not in contrition acknowledged their wrong-doing, and called on God for mercy. His smiting had been for their ultimate good, but they had not been exercised thereby to repentance. Indeed, they carried on with their sacrifices, their burnt offerings, their oblations, their observances of the new moons and sabbaths, their solemn meetings, as if nothing stood as a barrier between their souls and God. “Why should ye be stricken any more? Ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores; they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”

Their plight, though they knew it not, was not merely desperate; it was hopeless. Darby translates “putrifying sores,” as “open sores.” The Douay Version, “swelling sores,” and Young, as “fresh smiting.” Strong’s Concordance says, the Hebrew word for “putrifying” is from an unused root apparently meaning to be moist, probably “dripping” hence “fresh” (i.e. recently made such). The word appears in only one other Scripture, Judges 15:15, where it is translated “new” in the King James Version. “And he (Samson) found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith.” The margin says “moist” and Darby translates it “fresh.”

The Speaker’s Commentary translates the “wounds, bruises, and putrifying sores,” as “sword wounds, and livid wales, and festering scourge-wounds.” Then it comments: “The abscesses of the last had not been pressed out, to get rid of the suppuration; and the gaping sword-wounds had not been bound up with bandages; and the coagulated blood in stripe-bruises had not been mollified with oil.”

Under the law, which showed no mercy, it was “eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (Ex. 21:24-25). The Lord applied that very principle but in inestimable love and mercy for the healing of His hopelessly sin-sick people. Were they wounded because of their evil doings? He, God’s beloved Son, was wounded for their transgressions. Were they bruised for their wrong-doing? He was bruised for their iniquities. Were they covered with rotting sores, ever open, fresh, unhealing? The chastisement of their peace was upon Him; and with His scars (Newberry margin) they were healed.

That is, for our every sin He paid full penalty; for all that we did and were He suffered the righteous judgment of a holy God; and the very marks of His suffering, the scars, the prints of the nail wounds in His hands and feet, and the spear-wound in His side, are the incontrovertible, eternal evidences of our healing. Having Himself borne our sins in His own body on the tree, He has been raised for our justification, and has ascended to the right hand of God, where as the Man in the glory He bears the marks of the Man of Sorrows as the proof of our healing. “By his scars we are healed.”

The Epistle to the Hebrews corroborates that thought of His scars being the marks of our healing. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:3). “He is the Mediator of a better covenant… For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws in their mind, and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people… their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (8:6, 10-12). “But Christ being come an High-Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (9:11-12). “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world (the ages) hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (9:24-26). “For the law … can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the corners thereunto perfect… But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year… Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body hast Thou prepared Me … Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God… By the which will we are sanctified through offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God… For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (10:1, 3, 5, 9-12, 14).

We are not in this sense like Mephibosheth with lame feet hidden beneath David’s table. “By His scars we are healed.” “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:19-22). “Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach” (Heb. 13: 12-13). Mephibosheth could sit at David’s table, but he could neither enter into the sanctuary with him (Psa. 73: 17) nor go out with him in rejection bearing his reproach (2 Sam. 1:16, 19), for he was lame on both his feet. By His scars we are healed, so accordingly we can enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, where He sits as High Priest; and, moreover, we can go forth to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

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Successful is the day whose first victory is won by prayer. Holy is the day whose dawn finds thee on the top of the mount.