Isa.53:3,4, ” He was despised and abandoned by men,
A man of great pain and familiar with sickness;
And like one from whom people hide their faces,
He was despised, and we had no regard for Him.
However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore,
And our pains that He carried;
Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted,
Struck down by God, and humiliated.”
This is one of the most important prophetic words in the Old Testament speaking about the sacrificial death of Jesus the Messiah. In this portion of the prophesy, Isaiah is prophesying about the healing nature of the Messiah. Jesus fulfills this word two ways: He carries our sicknesses away by His healing ministry on earth and He carried away our sicknesses by His death on the cross. Just as He carried our sin at the cross, He also carried our sickness and pain in His body on the cross. Here is how Brian Simmons describes this focusing on the word stricken or afflicted:
“Or “stricken,” a word used for one who is struck with leprosy. Because of this, the Jewish Talmud gives many opinions about this verse, then offers an authoritative ruling of the sages. “The rabbis say: ‘His name is The Leper … as it is said [in Isaiah 53:4], “Surely our sicknesses he himself bore and our sorrows he carried, yet we ourselves esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted”’”. Their conclusion was that the Messiah will be called “the Leper of the House of Rabbi.” They understood that he would not be an actual “leper” but that he would carry the “spiritual leprosy” of the people, as a leper carries his affliction.”
Paul touched on this in his teaching about communion in 1 Corinthians 11. He said that some people in the church in Corinth had gotten sick and even died prematurely because they did not discern the Lord’s body. What were people getting at? First, not discerning the Lord’s body has to do with being out of harmony with the local church. Not recognizing your connection to other church folks and walking in unforgiveness would qualify. Paul was also talking about not seeing the sacrificial nature of the death of Christ and not taking communion with that in view. Communion is a celebration of the double cure: Jesus bore our sin and He carried away our sicknesses. Look to the sacrificial nature of His death and you can experience the healing power of Jesus!