Isaiah 53

The Suffering Servant

(Matthew 26:57-68Mark 14:53-65John 18:19-241 Peter 2:21-25)

1Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

2For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5But 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.

6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors

The 39 Stripes (2)

“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 (Isaiah 53:5).

When your faith is in Jesus, there is no wasted pain. What wounds you has the power to heal others. This is one of the most prolific principles connected to the Passion of Christ. God gives us ministry through miseries. Stripes are signs of strength. In the very place where Jesus endured great pain is the very place where Jesus was anointed to bring healing and restoration.

The Jesuit mystic, Henri Nouwen calls Jesus, “The Wounded Healer”. This flies in the face of “hurt people hurt people”. Hurt people can also heal people. The afflicted don’t have to inflict. Jesus brings ministry into focus with being wounded, bruised, and whipped. We cannot be authentic in our presentation of Christ without wounds, bruises and stripes. Those who have a desire to be used in the healing of souls and the redemption of the world will have to be “suffering servants”.

We cannot heal souls or redeem the world on the cheap, on the fly or on the run. Transgressions become destructive addictions. Iniquities become generational curses. There is a price, a cost, a sacrifice that is part and parcel with bringing people to the saving work of The Cross. The Cross in stark truth and in high definition history reveals that the healing of souls requires the bleeding of the One who wishes to be a blessing.

When you are feeling wounded, bruised and whipped by life and circumstances that is exactly when  you are being enabled and empowered to be a soul  healer. Soul healers can still feel. Soul healers are not closed and protective. Soul healers are open to love and the pain that may come with it. All of our hurts will help us better minister with and for the Christ who healed us with His hurts.








The 39 Stripes (Part 1)

“…With His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus was not only crucified, he was utterly and insanely beaten before He was crucified. The cost of our salvation must be estimated not only in terms of what happened on the Cross, but also what happened on the way to the Cross.

Jesus took stripes upon His back to complete our redemption. The stripes of Jesus are anointed to release healing. His stripes are the means and the grounds upon which we can claim divine healing and supernatural deliverance.

Why do we say that Jesus endured 39 stripes? No where in the Gospels are we told specifically that Jesus received 39 stripes. Why then do we make any reference to 39 stripes?

According to the law of Moses no Jew was to be given more than forty stripes (Deuteronomy 25:1-3). In order to make sure they never violated the Law of Moses by giving even one stripe too many, the religious leaders began to count up to 39 stripes. Over time the 39 stripes rule became the established custom in the Jewish judicial system.

According to Roman Law and customs no man was to receive more than 39 stripes (II Corinthians 11:24-25). 40 Stripes was considered a death sentence. The Romans believed that 40 stripes would kill a normal man. They did not want the accused to die on the whipping post.  They wanted their prisoners to endure as much pain and suffering as possible. They wanted them to die nailed to a cross.

There are some who think it incredulous that anyone would hold to the claim that Jesus received 39 stripes. They point to all the laws the Jewish Council (Sanhedrin) violated to crucify Christ. They cite the barbarianism of the Romans and rebuff the idea that the Romans would have withheld any form of punishment prior to the Crucifixion. They consider 39 stripes too lenient a punishment for Jesus. Surely the Jews and the Romans would have trespassed any law or custom when it came to afflicting pain on the Saviour. They forget that what Jesus endured was not just a whipping, it was a “scourging”.

The 39 stripes that Jesus bore for our redemption, healing and deliverance came from a Roman flagellum. Allow me to explain. The Roman flagellum would have been the instrument used to beat Jesus. This whip was made of three belts or ropes of leather attached to a wooden handle. When the scourging began the administer would be a rough and rugged seasoned Roman soldier.

The flagellum was about three feet long. Every three inches on the belts or ropes of the whip would be sharp pieces of bone that are said to have come for the pelvis of a lamb. The pieces of bone would be placed in the knots that ran down the whip. Each time a prisoner was whipped a piece of the bone would break and leave jagged edges of bone protruding from the knots. The cuts and lacerations would be more unbearable each swing of the whip. In addition to the pieces of bone, there would also be small hooks hanging from the leather strands. Sometimes glass or some other deep flesh-cutting material would be attached. There would be at minimum three different kinds of crude flesh-cutting materials used. This why the Romans called it “a cat of nine tails”.

Some men died while being whipped by the flagellum. Jesus made it through the beating. He made it to the Cross! He made it out of the grave!

Jesus was beat that we might be healed. He bore the stripes on his back that we might not have to carry the burden of sickness and disease. Our healing and deliverance was secured by the stripes on his body.

Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, “By the stripes of Jesus, I am healed!”