I walked into the Auditorium to begin a weekend for those with cancer and their carers. But I was shocked to see one young woman so desperately ill with cancer. I discovered later that she had been given only weeks to live. Nothing in her world was healthy. Her body was being destroyed by a virulent cancer. Her emotional state was “shot to pieces” as we might say in Australia. Her relationships were almost non-existent as she had been pretty difficult to get along with. Personal hurts had meant that she no longer had contact with any family members. Some would say that she really had nothing much to live for. Anyway she didn’t have to put up with her lot much longer. She would soon be dead! Doctors had told her so! They couldn’t do anything for her, so advanced was the cancer.
How is it then that some twenty years later Julie (not her real name) is alive and whole and enjoying life? She discovered many spiritual truths over that weekend that she acted on. She discovered how to be forgiven by God. She learned how to forgive those who had hurt her. She was marvellously physically and emotionally healed over several months. She began to experience a peace she had never known before. Some of the concepts associated with these verses helped transform her life.
These are the verses from Isaiah 53:4-6, Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned–every one–to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah’s prophecy anticipated an “anointed one”, the Christ, the Messiah, who would bear the sins of the people. Julie came to understand over that weekend that Jesus the Messiah had died for her on a cross, bearing her sins and her infirmities. She came to understand that she could find forgiveness and healing in Him. And she did! Miraculously so! Amazingly so!
In coming articles I would like to share more about those truths which brought such a radical transformation to Julie’s life. Perhaps also to go a little deeper into the richness of these and other verses in the Old Testament that remind us of a God, who as St. Paul the apostle was later to write in Ephesians 3:20, “… is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”
Jim Holbeck. Blog No. 27. Posted on Monday 11th July 2011