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Healing in the Atonement II
Old Testament Types of the Atonement
by Tom Brown

We are given many examples of healing being related to the atonement. First let us look at the Old Testament.

The first major type of the atonement in the Old Testament is the original Passover. God instructed Israel to take the blood of the lambs and paint it on the doorframes of the houses. God said as a result of seeing the blood, "No destructive plague will touch you" (Ex 12:13). No plague was permitted to touch them because of the blood of the Passover lamb. They were preserved in health because of the Passover. The Passover, of course, is a type of the atonement of Christ. "Christ our Passover has been sacrificed" (1 Cor 5:7).

Notice that the children of Israel were kept from a plague as a result of the atonement. The atonement kept them healthy. Concerning the exodus it is written, "He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes" (Ps 105:37, KJV). The word feeble means weakly. No one was weak physically when they came out of Egypt. Forget what you saw on the movie The Ten Commandments. No one was on crutches; no one was blind; no one died on the way. Everyone was healed. The blood of the lamb healed everyone!

If the blood of lambs could heal an entire nation, don’t you think that the blood of the Lamb of God could heal everyone in the body of Christ? Of course it could!

Atonement Stops the Plague

There is another great example of the atonement bringing healing. It is found is Numbers chapter 16. The Israelites had grumbled against Moses and Aaron. As a result, a plague hit Israel. What was God’s answer for this plague? Not simply prayer for mercy, but an atonement.

Then Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started." So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. (Num 16:46-48)

The plague stopped when the atonement was made. If healing is not connected to the atonement then why did the atonement heal the people? It is clear the atonement was the cure for the healing of the plague.

Bronze Snake

Another wonderful example of the atonement as it relates to healing is in Numbers chapter 21. Again the Israelites brought judgement on themselves and were bitten by poisonous snakes.

Snakes speak of Satan. Satan has bitten them and caused them to suffer extreme nausea and pain. He does that today. The solution God has for the people is simple. Take a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. (see Numbers 21:8-9)

Jesus said about His own crucifixion: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up" (John 3:14). The bronze snake speaks of the atonement of Christ. If the shadow of the atonement could heal the people from the venom of the snakes, then surely the reality of the atonement can heal us from any diseases Satan tries to put on us.

Leper’s Healing

There is an interesting regulation under the Law that relates to this lesson. If a leper was healed of his disease then the priest was to make atonement for him. Look at the following scripture:

The LORD said to Moses, "These are the regulations for the diseased person at the time of his ceremonial cleansing, when he is brought to the priest: The priest is to go outside the camp and examine him. If the person has been healed of his infectious skin disease, the priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the one to be cleansed… "Then the priest is to sacrifice the sin offering and make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. After that, the priest shall slaughter the burnt offering and offer it on the altar, together with the grain offering, and make atonement for him, and he will be clean. (Lev 14:1-4, 19-20)

Here is my question: Why was an atonement made for the leper’s healing if healing is not in the atonement of Christ? Healing is clearly in the atonement.

Fundamentalist will criticize Christian Scientists for believing that salvation can be attained without the atonement, yet fundamentalist make the same blunder concerning healing. They treat healing under a different basis than forgiveness. They view sickness as utterly separate from sin. This is wrong. Healing is attained through the atonement.

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