He Carries My Disease
I can’t sleep again. I’m tired, so tired that after a few minutes of reading in bed I can barely keep my eyes open and the words on the page blur like I was cross-eyed. But as soon as I close my eyes to sleep I get very restless and feel a sudden urge to scream or holler. I know it sounds crazy and many of you are probably shaking your head and thinking, “Oh, no, he’s finally lost it, gone over the edge, signed into the local funny farm.” It’s not like that, though. It’s not an actual urge to scream, it just feels that way. Hard to explain. Has anyone else experienced this?
Anyway, eventually, in the wee hours of the morning I do fall asleep. Maybe it’s my nerves, anxiety, stress, I don’t know. It’s weird because last week I couldn’t get enough sleep and now I can’t buy an easy entrance into La-La Land.
I was reading this morning in Matthew 8 when Jesus went to Peter’s mother-in-law’s house because she was sick with a “fever.” After healing the woman with a simple touch, word spread like nobody’s business. Soon the whole town was there with their demon-possessed and sick. And you know what Jesus did? He sent them all home. No, not really. After a long day in the mid-east heat, after dealing with people all day, after dealing with the disciples all day, after being on his feet all day, Jesus took the time to heal them all.
It says in verse 8 why. So he could fulfill what Isaiah prophesied: He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases. The New Century Version says He took our suffering on him.
You see, with Jesus it’s personal. His healing almost always involved touching the person, contacting them, identifying with them. Taking their affliction, infirmity, suffering on himself. I never thought of it that way before. Disease and suffering and illness are results of sin in the world and when Jesus healed he didn’t just banish the affliction to some hinterland, he placed it upon himself. That’s deep.
That’s comforting as well. I know that with what I’m going through Jesus can relate, he can identify with me. He knows the valley I travel; he knows every pitfall, every obstacle, every downturn. Because he’s personally travelling it too. He’s placing my suffering on himself and carrying my disease on his own shoulders.