Bent Out Of Shape – Isaiah 53.5

Isaiah 53.5 is another great verse that is so often misunderstood. When this happens, the power of the Word is just not there and we end up playing make-believe with what we think it says, not what it actually says. 

Isaiah 53.5 is often used when someone is ill, injured, or infirm. Sometimes, in a well meaning way, it’s attached to a charity that supports those who are seriously ill. Maybe you’ve seen it looking like this:

Is that what Isaiah was saying, that if we have physical injuries, illnesses, or infirmities that the death of Jesus guarantees their healing? Let’s see…

“He was wounded because of our rebellious deeds, 

crushed because of our sins; 

he endured punishment that made us well; 

because of his wounds we have been healed”.

(Isaiah 53.5)

So, because of our rebellious deeds and our sins, the Servant of Isaiah 52.13 will be wounded and crushed. He will [endure] punishment and wounds that will [make] us well and heal us. 

The word we read here as well:

…he endured punishment that made us well;”

could just as accurately have been translated as peace (שָׁלוֹם – shalom). 

Jesus, the Servant of Isaiah 52.13, was physically wounded, tortured, and killed so that we can experience peace with God. John A. Martin writes that 

“Ironically His wounds, inflicted by the soldiers’ scourging and which were followed by His death, are the means of healing believers’ spiritual wounds in salvation.” 

Jesus’ death on the cross doesn’t guarantee us physical healing from everything from aches and pains to cancer. If that were the case, would any believer have ever died in pain? Would our loved ones suffer physical discomfort, ever? Would we fall and break bones, dislocate joints, or ever need a doctor? 

The healing that the cross of Christ brings to you is a spiritual healing. It is the restoration of right relationship between God and man. The only reason God chooses to not hold you accountable for the consequences of your sin is because He was wounded…crushed…He endured punishment…of his wounds…

Isaiah 53.5 is a wonderful, amazing, grace-filled verse. It doesn’t mean that all your physical ailments will be healed this side of eternity, and we really shouldn’t be telling people that it does. The better part, the more amazing part, is that because of the suffering servant we see on the cross, there is opportunity for you to be healed of the consequences of your sin and there is opportunity to be forgiven, accepted, and for you to experience a love and belonging like never before. 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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