Editorial

Healed!

By


Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

—Isaiah 53:4-5 (emphasis added)

Healed. A powerful yet paradoxical word. A defining declaration for the formerly stricken; a dangling fruit for the afflicted in waiting.

Of the pillars of the Fourfold Gospel on which Alliance Christology is based, Jesus our Healer seems to many to be the most arbitrary. We have little trouble acknowledging that as Savior, Jesus abolishes the penalty of sin for all who call upon His Name; that as Sanctifier, He is constantly willing and working to form us into His character; and that as Coming King, He will one day return to reclaim His Bride and establish a new heaven and a new earth.

But when it comes to the promise of divine healing, questions have challenged believers for centuries: Why does God choose to heal some and not others? Does He sometimes find greater purpose in allowing His children to bear the weight of suffering? Is our earthly understanding of divine healing too limited?

In this issue you’ll read how some—on both sides of the outcome—have wrestled through these issues. What unites them is the wrestling. As Alliance president John Stumbo reminded us in a recent chapel message, God allows us to wrestle with Him. The name “Israel,” from which we derive our spiritual lineage, can be translated “prevails with God,” and was the new name given to Jacob after His wrestling match with the angel of the Lord in Genesis 32.

A daddy letting his toddler pin him to the mat while the child shouts “I won’t let go until you bless me” is a vivid image of our Father’s deep, personal love for His kids—a love sometimes expressed through His healing touch and other times through the privilege of sharing in the suffering His own Son endured on our behalf.

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