“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
by whose stripes you were healed
This phrase alludes to Isaiah 53:5. Jesus took our rap. He took the place of suffering for my sin.
The “stripes” here are the stripes left by a lash. We can translate “stripes” as “wounds,” wounds from stripes. This has to do with the whipping by a lash they put upon Jesus during his passion. Jesus underwent “stripes,” wounds, and ultimately death. Romans scourged with pieces of brass or lead or small pointed bones. They stripped the victim to the waist and bound him in a stooped position with his hands tied behind his back to a pillar or post.
This probably refers to more than just the lashes that Jesus took by the Roman soldiers but to the stroke of the Father’s justice administered vicariously to him on the cross.
“Were healed” is past tense indicating a finished action. It means to cause something to change to an earlier, correct, or appropriate state — to renew, to heal. This deals with our spiritual healing. Healing, therefore, is not physical healing here. Healing can mean to restore from a state of condemnation. This does not deal with healing in the atonement or refer to physical healing of any kind. It means to be restored from a state of condemnation.
The New Testament uses “heal” of physical healing 22 times (Mt. 15:28; Ac. 9:34). It is used for spiritual healing in Matt. 13:15; John 12:40; Acts 28:27; Heb. 12:13; here and possibly, Jas. 5:16.
Jesus healed us spiritually by his death on the cross.
Jesus died for our sins, not our diseases. Physical disease is not in itself a sin. It is the result of sin. The whole context of this passage talks of the substitutionary death of Christ. Jesus took away diseases by healing them.
Sickness is the judicial result of sin. Jesus did not take on the nature of Adam’s sin. He took on the penalty of his sin.
If Christ can heal spiritually, he can heal physically (Mt. 8:17). The Matthew quote has to do with the alleviation of suffering rather than the atonement for sin. God did not transfer diseases to Christ. The purpose of healing was to point to Christ as the Messiah.