Only Jesus can heal a wounded spirit

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, April 7, 2022

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When we think of Calvary, our minds think immediately of the cross; however, before Jesus was nailed to the cross, he was scourged. Jesus even spoke about this scourging in Matthew 20: 17-19, “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.” Jesus knew he was going to be beaten before he was nailed to the cross.
A scourge is a whip meant to inflict great pain. This particular whip was called a flagrum. The flagrum had several leather strips that had teeth, bone, pottery, metal and anything else that was sharp that would wrap around the victim. “According to Jewish law (discipline of the synagogue) the number of stripes was forty less one (Deut. 25:3) and the rabbis reckoned 168 actions to be punished by scourging before the judges. Nevertheless, scourging among the Romans was a more severe form of punishment and there was no legal limit to the number of blows, as with the Jews. Deep lacerations, torn flesh, exposed muscles and excessive bleeding would leave the criminal “half-dead” ( Jesus was scourged by the Romans. The Bible says in Isaiah 52:13, “Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. As many were astonied at thee; his visage (appearance) was so marred (disfigured and mutilated) more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” This prophecy tells us that Jesus will be mutilated beyond recognition.
Isaiah 53:4-5 proclaims, “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.” We are born with a wounded spirit due to the original sins of Adam and Eve. Only claiming the stripes that Jesus bore will heal our spirits. Satan does not have anything to offer us that can heal our spirits; however, he has many types of salve that will soothe them for a while. Many individuals are self-soothing their sore spirits with alcohol, drugs, sex, money, and entertainment. Hebrews 11:25 tells us that there is pleasure in sin for a season. That season soon ends and we are left with wounded spirits.
Proverbs 18:14 says, “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Physical body and spirit are different. The spirit will pick you up when the body is down. If the spirit is wounded and you are suffering a serious sickness, you then have a double whammy. Not only are you physically sick, you don’t have the spiritual side of you properly functioning to “encourage you in the Lord,” with your suffering. You may start wishing to die or consider suicide. It can impact your ability to cope, to trust God, to believe Him for healing, it will affect you in many ways. A wounded spirit can only be healed by the Lord. We must choose to claim the stripes Jesus bore for our spiritual healing! John MacArthur said, “Jesus was thinking of each and every one of us when the skin of his back turned into mere ribbons from the lashings. I also think He thought of us when He crawled onto the cross and even when He took His last breath — knowing He would soon defeat death and fulfill the wages of sin. Go to Him. No matter what is tormenting your soul.”
(Brandon Young is pastor of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton)

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