By his bruises we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the cross. 1 Peter 2:24
This is the central reality of all of life: We have an eternally-terminal disease which is called sin. But God, because of his great love for us,has healed and saved us. All this is in spite of the fact that we rebelled against God, willfully rejected his grace and mercy, and deserve his judgment, wrath, and condemnation.
Ninety-nine percent of the time we live unconsciously unaware of these profound truths. To some extent that is necessary: how could we go about life if we were constantly consumed with thoughts of our sinfulness and depravity – even if we were convinced of God’s grace and salvation? Moreover, our day-to-day experience is not shrouded in a dark awareness of our sin. We are more inclined to see ourselves as at least a little above average when it comes to goodness and righteousness. We may be sinners, but we are not evil or really all that bad – or so we think.
That is the greatest ill from which we need healing. If we think we are without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (cf. 1 John 1:8). Jesus called one of his closest disciples, “Satan” (cf. Matthew 16:23). He said that we are evil (Matthew 7:11). We need desperately to embrace the reality of our sin, for only then are we in the posture to receive grace. Jesus didn’t die a horrible death – healing us by his bruises, and bearing our sins on the cross – for righteous people.
Jesus did in fact, however, die on the cross bearing sins, and healing sinners. The healing allows us to acknowledge the sin. The cross becomes the story of our glory. For God’s final word of us is not of our sinfulness and depravity, but of our redemption and our new identity as God’s beloved children. Jesus came to give us life (John 10:10). Through faith in him we become the children of God (John 1:12). For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). We have been healed and saved. Thanks be to God!