Word of the Month

Healed through his wounds

May 2000

In the course of the history of mankind, many sacrifices were brought, but none can be compared to the sacrifice of Christ. When people risk their lives to help others, whether due to catastrophes, floods or other dangers, they deserve our deepest respect. However, the sacrifice of Christ has a higher value: although the Son of God was without sin and therefore immortal, he took the sins of mankind upon himself through his death on the stem of the cross and thereby reconciled the world with God.

More than 700 years before this event, in a preview of the unique act of salvation of the Redeemer, the Prophet Isaiah foretold: "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 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 53:4-5).

What does "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" actually mean? The chastisement lay upon him in that he had paid our debts, for our salvation and peace. The sacrifice of Jesus makes it possible that mankind, which had fallen into sin, could be led back to their creator; it is left up to each individual to accept this unique offer.

How comforting it is to know: "with his stripes we are healed". How terribly the Lord was tormented. In addition to the bodily pain came the disappointment over the misconception of his commission, even among his disciples. How smitten was he not in that hour, when God withdrew his hand from him, so that his sacrifice would be fully valid and nobody could say "The strength of God has carried you through all suffering". Jesus took the heaviest burden upon himself, carried the sins of the world in his death - for our salvation! What is our salvation, that was made available to us through his wounds? Above all the forgiveness of sins. We can also experience the healing of our souls when we accept the timely word in faith, receive God's grace, help, strength, joy and peace and have innermost fellowship with the Son of God through the Holy Communion.

"All 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", Isaiah continues. Only through the sacrifice of Jesus the way was opened for the good shepherd to go before his sheep and lead them to fresh springs and upon green pastures. It did not all end with his crucifiction: Jesus Christ has resurrected as victor over hell, death and grave. And he will come again, to take his own unto himself into eternal glory.

With heartfelt greetings,<br/> Yours,

Richard Fehr