Everybody forgiven and healed

The ‘Full Gospel’ teaches based on Isaja 53:5 that our healing is as sure as our forgiveness. I always have had a problem with that, because not everybody who is sick, is healed. How should I understand this verse?

The word ‘Rapha’ in this bible verse means healing in the physical way, restoration of your health, but also healing of relationships, restoration of the relationship between God and His people.

In the bible there is a strong link between sin and sickness or handicap. The man who was born blind; who sinned, he or his parents? The paralysed man through the roof; your sins are forgiven. That is because Israel has a covenant, a contract with God; God will protect them as long as they give Him the first place, but when they wander off from God, than they are faced with disease and other misery. That’s why they immediately thought of sin when someone had a disease and healing of a disease was proof of a restored relationship with God through forgiveness.

We are part of a new covenant, a covenant with totally different conditions. With the old covenant the people had to keep the written rules and when they broke the rules, they had to bring a sacrifice. The new covenant is about faith. God gives us His Spirit, who helps us do things in Gods way. For trespasses God himself has made the sacrifice. There is nothing that can separate the believers from God, so sickness is no longer a sign of sin.

That you can become sick because of ‘bad behaviour’ is an entirely different story. With too much eating and drinking, being stressed out and press on too long without relaxation I put more strain on my body than is healthy for me. My body is a temple, says the bible and I should treat this delicate structure with care. If I do not, as a consequence I can get sick. That’s something I do to myself, is is not attached to my relationship with God.

The way we are forgiven likewise we are healed. And the way there still is sin, likewise there still is sickness. And the way we will only see the complete result of our forgiveness after this life in a completely open relationship with God, likewise we will also see the complete result of our healing in a new body. Only then evil will be completely removed and the entire creation restored.

Until that time we only now and then see a glimpse of the Kingdom of God in this broken world. Now and again you hear from someone who feels really liberated from an enormous sense of guild and now and again you hear from someone who is healed from a sickness. It is an encouragement; it really is true, it is possible, and it will be common practice.

What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.”

The painting is a detail from the return of the prodigal son, by Rembrandt