by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
â€œWho his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.â€ (1 Peter 2:24)
The third verse of the majestic hymn â€œArise, My Soul, Ariseâ€ relates how the crucified but risen Intercessor, Christ, pleads with the Father to save a sinner and why His prayers are heard.
Five bleeding wounds He bears, Received on Calvary.
They pour effectual prayers; They strongly plead for me.
â€œForgive him, oh, forgive,â€ they cry, (repeat)
â€œNor let that ransomed sinner die.â€
When Jesus was crucified, they â€œpierced [His] hands and [His] feetâ€ (Psalm 22:16) and â€œpierced his sideâ€ with a spear (John 19:34). After His resurrection, His disciples would view these five wounds (Luke 24:39;Â John 20:27). It was from these wounds that His blood flowed, â€œand without shedding of blood [there] is no remissionâ€ of sins. â€œSo Christ was once offered to bear the sins of manyâ€ (Hebrews 9:22, 28). Our text for today declares that it was His â€œstripes,â€ literally â€œwounds,â€ which heal us of our deadly sin sickness. His death provides life and health and righteousness.
If â€œthe effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth muchâ€ (James 5:16), surely the pleadings of Christ, a perfectly righteous man, are of infinite strength. â€œNeither pray I for these alone [i.e., His disciples], but for them also which shall believe on me through their word . . . [that they] be with me where I amâ€ (John 17:20, 24).
As a truly repentant sinner comes in faith to God seeking forgiveness for his sins, Christ pleads, â€œForgive him, oh, forgive.â€ â€œFor there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for allâ€ (1 Timothy 2:5-6). JDM