Devotional: Jesus, your substitute
Deuteronomy 28 is a special chapter in the Bible. It offers a list of both curses and blessings that God promises to pour out on people. The decisive factor is whether or not they listen to His voice. I want to encourage you to read verse 59 and check and see whether you're living in the curses or the blessings.
"The LORD will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants (notice that they go from generation to generation), even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses."
In verse 60, it speaks about all the diseases in Egypt. Now it was my lot to spend two years in Egypt as a soldier in the British Army in World War II, and I will tell you the diseases of Egypt are past all counting. I don't think there are many diseases that aren't found in Egypt. But if there are, they are also included in the curses because the next verse says (vs. 61), "Also every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this law..." So logically, every kind of sickness, every kind of plague is a curse. Somehow or other its ultimate cause is disobedience against God.
The prophet Isaiah gives us a very vivid picture of the results of disobedience and rebellion. He is speaking to the nation of Israel and he compares their condition as the result of their disobedience to that of a body that's completely sick. This is what he says in Isaiah 1:5-6:
"Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness-only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil." (NIV)
That's a vivid metaphorical picture of the results of disobedience. But as I was reading it one day, the Holy Spirit showed me something wonderful and beautiful. I realized that Jesus had already taken all the curses upon Himself because He became our substitute. He redeemed us from the curse being made a curse for us, but as I was reading that passage in Isaiah 1:5-6, I saw that not merely is it a metaphorical picture of the condition of Israel as a result of their disobedience, but it's also a literal picture of Jesus as He hung on the cross.
Listen to it again. "Why should you be beaten anymore..." He was beaten with the Roman scourge, with its fearful nine thongs, each one studded with bone or metal.
"You whose head is injured..." Remember the thorns had been pressed down upon His head.
"... Your whole heart afflicted..." I believe Jesus died from a broken heart.
"From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness-only wounds and welts and open sores not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil."
Do you realize that's an exact description of Jesus as He hung upon the cross? And do you realize why He was in that condition? Because He redeemed you and me from the curse, being made a curse for us. All those physical curses that are a result of our disobedience against God, came upon Jesus as He hung there on the cross –on your behalf, for your redemption!
Thank You, dear Lord Jesus, for what You have suffered and endured for me. It is hard for me to imagine what You have gone through, but I simply want to accept Your sacrifice, in faith, thanking You again that You have been made a curse for me, so I might receive the blessing, including physical wholeness. Thank You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This devotional is taken from: Claiming our Inheritance
Also recommended: Called to Conquer - Discover your personal assignment from God