“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4, 5
It is difficult to think about passionate human intimacy without this passage coming to mind. At first glance it can appear that it is physical healing that we need, but on closer examination and experience we quickly discover that it is healing of a much deeper nature that is needed.
Where this matter of healing is concerned we are much more inclined to think in terms of hospitals, doctors and nurses, but Jesus didn’t come that we might have any of those things more abundantly. He came that we might have “life, and life more abundantly.” In the first instance, it is “life” that we need to get, not a doctor or a nurse or a clinic.
That said, and on deeper reflection we can appreciate that the flesh and blood intimacy attendant to the practice of medicine, In Christ changes venues to the practice of life and relationship. The physical intimacy that sickness brings to the fore is a picture of the spiritual intimacy that “iniquity” brings to the fore. We are on Jesus triage team. All the arrangements are made in and by the Spirit, but this only means that the intimacy required for healing is even deeper. Like medics, we practice relational intimacy in the battlefield, Colossians 1:24.
Our passage from Isaiah strongly suggest that there is a lot of room for misunderstanding where the love of God is concerned – “we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted…”
But even in his time, Isaiah understood that “… he was pierced for our transgression… crushed for our iniquities… punished for our peace… and wounded for our healing.”