Be Happy – Your Sin are Forgiven!

“And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men” (Matthew 9:1-8).

Introduction

As Christians we ought to be the happiest people alive, because we have our sins forgiven. The world, especially at the moment with the so-called credit crunch, international terrorism and wickedness is a depressing place indeed. But we are not earth-bound; instead we have been given the wonderful privilege of being called the children of God. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12).

Sin paralyses

The man in the story had two problems. His physical problem was severe enough, but his spiritual one doomed him to a lost eternity. He was paralyzed in both his body and his soul. The physicians could not fix his broken body, and the priests could not fix his broken soul. But standing there was someone who was an expert on both accounts. “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases” (Psalm 103:3).

The Lord Jesus gets right to the heart of the problem, and that is the problem of the heart. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Yes, He could have just given the man a new pair of legs, but then, he might just walk away into damnation anyway. How many come to Christ for things such as healing and provision, but balk at any talk of the need of repentance? Just as He addressed the paralyzed man’s guilt, so He must do the same for us. He never said, “Be happy, I have healed your body”, but “Be happy, I have taken away your sin.” Sin paralyzes us in more ways than any illness ever could. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus pardons

We all want our friends and family to forgive us when we have done or said something stupid that offended them, but we should seek God’s pardon even more. We are sinners because we have broken His righteous law. Every sin, even that which we have committed against others, is a sin against God. “I have sinned against heaven” (Luke 15:21) … “LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul; for I have sinned against thee” (Psalm 41:4).

Only God can forgive sin, which is why Jesus forgave the paralyzed man. It does not matter what the Jehovah’s Witnesses or other cults think of Christ, God in the flesh was standing before the people that day. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). Nothing in this story makes any sense if we refuse to acknowledge who Jesus really is. There are three aspects of divinity displayed by the Lord in this passage. (1) His omniscience, for He knew exactly what the religious leaders were thinking. (2) His omnipotence, for He healed the man completely. (3) His authority, for to forgive sins is the prerogative of God alone.

Let us not forget that this act of mercy, both the healing and the pardon, did not come cheaply, for it would eventually lead to the Lord’s crucifixion on the cross for the sins of the whole world. “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).

Faith proves it

The paralyzed man could have stayed put and refused to believe that Jesus could either heal or forgive him. He proved he believed that Jesus could do both when he in faith began to stand upon his feet and take his first steps towards home. The crowds marvelled, the scribes were silenced, but most of all the Lord was revealed as “the Great God and our Saviour” (Titus 2:13).

Maybe it is time for us to put our faith into action too. We are full of knowledge about what cannot be done, but what about allowing the Lord to do what He can do? “With God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). Maybe we have been paralyzed by sin, which in turn has made our Christian lives ineffective. Instead of think that it is not possible for God to use us, let us believe in the one who desires to forgive all of our sins. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The blood of Jesus still avails for sinners.

Conclusion

As the Lord Himself indicates, it is gross wickedness to put limitations on what God can and cannot do. He is still the Healer of our broken bodies, but more than that, He is still the Saviour who can heal our broken and wounded spirit. We are never going to be happy until we take Him at His word. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

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