With His Stripes We Are Healed
WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED
Philip A. Matthews
Sermon Notes—February 27, 2011
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Notice the last phrase in verse 18: “To set at liberty them that are bruised…” How are liberty and being bruised even connected? It would seem that those who are bruised need some kind of comfort or soothing, not liberty. And the answer is this: You get stuck/bound at whatever point you are bruised. Until your woundedness is healed, your life never moves past that point. You are enslaved. Therefore, bruised people need liberty, and this liberty comes only through HEALING.
Main Thought: The WHOLE/ULTIMATE PURPOSE of Jesus Christ coming to the world & dying on the Cross was to HEAL/MAKE WHOLE. If this healing doesn’t ever happen, then we have missed the whole point/purpose of Christianity!
Several Symptoms of Woundedness:
Fear, low self-esteem, permanent anger, broken relationships, hatred, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, insecurity, unforgiveness, unthankfulness, cynicism, dissatisfaction, lack of peace, blaming God, being driven by what others think, craving approval & acceptance, hiding/facades, anesthetizing oneself w/drugs, alcohol, sex, thrills, etc.—if you can’t change reality, then change your perception of reality), busyness/workaholic-ism, aggressiveness, being a control freak, aloofness (w/holding emotions from others, even family, to avoid getting hurt again), addictions (of all sorts: substances, romantic encounters, shopping, gambling, etc.), anxiety/worry, impatience, perfectionism, pride, constant preoccupation w/external appearance, overly sensitive/self-protective, revenge-seeking, attention-seeking, timidity, depression, feelings of abandonment, contentiousness, and dozens more…
Fact: All of the above are only SYMPTOMS of some underlying, deeper cause: A WOUNDEDNESS or “BRUISE” wh/you are trying to compensate for, or drown out, or hide, or “fix” in some other manner. But compensation is NOT healing. Compensation works on the outward circumstances, other people supposedly causing you trouble, events you are trying to control, etc. Healing fixes YOU—so that you are a WHOLE PERSON in spite of the circumstances, other people, etc. Jesus came to HEAL YOU, not just rearrange your world. So when these symptoms pop up in your life, start looking for the CAUSES so that you can be HEALED. It’s not enough to heal the headache. Find out WHY you have it in the first place! When YOU are HEALED & WHOLE, you find LIBERTY/FREEDOM/VICTORY in that area even if there is NO change in the circumstances, people, events, etc. Jesus Christ was so WHOLE that He could call Judas “Friend” and look down from the cross at His murderers to FORGIVE & PRAY for them!
The Four-Steps to True Recovery:
Step 1—RECOGNIZE/ADMIT your woundedness, ie., that you have a problem. Do not minimize it.
Step 2—QUIT BLAMING OTHERS, God, circumstances, etc. You have the problem. It wasn’t what she said that caused your bad reaction. Instead, it was your own lack of wholeness. A whole person like Jesus wouldn’t have reacted that way (See Matt 5:44). So ask God to show you what you have lying beneath that symptom—and He will.
Step 3—FORGIVE EVERYTHING & EVERYBODY. Forgive God (who allowed this thing to happen), forgive the people (who hurt you, b/c weak, hurting people hurt other people), forgive society, circumstances, fate, or whoever/whatever/wherever. Jesus was so WHOLE that He actually forgave people before they offended Him! (See John 19:11; Luke 23:34.)
Step 4—SUBMIT TO GOD: Everything in your life is 1stfiltered by God before it comes to you (1 Cor 10:13). Nothing is out of His control; nothing escapes His notice (Matt 10:29-31). He will perfect everything concerning you (Ps 138:8). No one has any power over you unless He permits it (Genesis 45:5-8; John 19:11). So SUBMIT EVERYTHING into His control. It’s already in His control, but you need to release it from your own control. LET GO & LET GOD.
Practical Applications & Examples
Example 1: Let’s start w/a big, complex example: You have always felt like the ‘black sheep’ of your family, never able to do enough to earn your father’s love & approval. Furthermore, your birth position was the youngest out of six. So you have spent most of your adult life fighting for attention/to be noticed & working to prove to your dad that you are just as smart/good as the other children. All kinds of symptoms pop up in your life: workaholic-ism, anger, resentment, perfectionism, preoccupation w/image to attract attention, over-competitiveness, jealousy/envy, anxiety, broken relationships (because you are too selfishly driven to love anybody else), etc. You're so stressed out now you're actually having heart problems--all b/c you're driven by this woundedness.
You need to forgive your poor dad: He was a hurting man himself who did the best he could but who had no clue on how the way he treated you was affecting you. But God, your real Father, knew all about it all the time, and planned on using all of it as His way to bring you to Him, the true Source of everything you need. Your real problem is not workaholic-ism, but a failure to trust God. Your real problem is not jealousy against your brothers, but a failure to forgive.
Someone has said, “The opposite of joy is not sadness, but unbelief,” which is a much deeper problem than simple sadness. So work on the deeper issues that cause the behavioral problems. Dig deep as the Holy Spirit probes.
Example 2: Let’s do a simple one. You don’t have much patience, esp when driving. Today you are late for your appointment. Did your best but the traffic is atrocious. Honk the horn; glare out the window. Mutter to yourself; do something embarrassing with your hand. Then pray, “Lord, give me more patience!”
Your real problem isn’t a lack of patience, but a lack of submission to God. If you are late because of your own negligence, first ask His forgiveness then commit the whole self-caused situation into His hands to make it work out the best way possible. If you are not the cause of your being late, then, once again, you commit it into His hands. In either case, TRUST Him to work out the whole situation to His glory & your good. Then RELAX. One brother said they actually set back the time clock for him one day when he arrived late! No way could he have expected that!
Example 3: You are a “worry wart.” But not really. Let’s call it like it is: You are fearful & unbelieving. You are afraid things won’t go your way, at your time, by your method. Sounds like something much deeper than a little harmless worrying. My wife once taught me, “Whatever is not peace is worry!” And I have never seen her worried or panicked, not in 38 years of marriage!
Example 4: You are shy and timid. Some people actually think you’re pretty humble & meek. But not really. You’re really afraid to make a move or speak up or do whatever God told you to do because of the crippling fear of failure. That’s just pride. Who said you were too good to fail anyway?! No big deal if you fail: That’s what we all do but for the grace of God! So you’re not too good to join the club of human weaklings utterly dependent on God. Submit and obey—and quit hiding behind that “I’m just shy” façade. We know better.
You get the point. As we focus on HEALING the deeper causes, we become WHOLE, which is the whole point of Christianity—to create mature, whole men and women living lives of true LOVE and COMMUNION with God & with others. May God make this happen in each of our lives.