In my first post about freedom I mentioned that this series would be no more than a brief summary of the teachings we shared during the freedom conferences. I realize I am only touching the surface of this subject and I hope one thing will become very clear: in order to live in the freedom that Jesus purchased for us, we need to stand firm and not become a slave again... of anything or anyone.
Galatians 5:1 says, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. That freedom is available for everyone who is willing to make a conscious decision to believe in Jesus Christ and to follow Him. Then... we need to stand firm and not let ourselves be burdened again. We can stand firm by 1) making the right choices (holy living), 2) receiving and giving forgiveness, 3) confessing our sins to one another and 4) understanding the power of Communion. That last thing is what this post is all about.
Jesus came to earth to set us free from sin, but (and this we find much harder to believe) He also came to set us free from sickness! We can read that in Matthew 8:16-17, When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” Jesus literally fulfilled that prophecy. He came to deliver mankind from sin, but also from sickness and ailments (which are often the result from the Fall of mankind in general). The Bible continually confirms this, for example in Luke 13:10-12, where it is written about a crippled woman When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Jesus declares freedom from her infirmity. He delivers her from her infirmity as He delivers us from our sin. The word freedom or deliverance is being used in connection with sin AND sickness.
When we take a closer look at the prophecy Isaiah uttered about the coming Messiah, we will see that he also described the liberating work of Jesus in detail. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5). All different aspects of human suffering are mentioned here: infirmities (physical), sorrows (psychological and emotional), transgressions (sin) and iniquities (immorality, often inherited). There is absolutely nothing that Jesus does NOT want to deliver us from. Another wonderful confirmation can be found in the Old Testament, and well in Psalms 103:1-5, ... who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. Jesus wants to forgive and heal! Hallelujah. Personally, it brought me much joy and liberty when I realized that He came to save me from sin and sickness.
Maybe you are wondering what this has to do with Communion? I personally believe that the two elements of Communion (bread and wine) symbolize the two facets of salvation: deliverance from sickness and sin. If salvation is no more than deliverance from sin, then wine would be sufficient to symbolize the blood of Jesus that flowed for the forgiveness of all sin. So why the bread? Is there more than forgiveness? YES! The bread symbolizes Jesus' body, which was wounded for our healing. The apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:23-31 about celebrating Communion. The Bible tells us there that some people were sick because they did not properly recognize the body of the Lord, some even died... Is it no more than logical to conclude that we can be healed if we participate in Communion in a right manner? That we will receive healing when we recognize the meaning of the wounded body of the Lord?
This is also an important key in order to stand firm in our freedom from sickness and ailments. I truly hope this series have helped you to stand firm too!