Robert Griffith | 17 March 2024
Robert Griffith
17 March 2024


Luke 5:20b  “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

Can you picture this young man?  Luke informs us that he was a paralytic and that several of his companions carried him to Jesus.  They were under the impression that if they could take their friend to Jesus, he would be cured of his illness.  They were unable to get close to Jesus because of the crowd. In order to save their comrade, they resorted to drastic measures and hauled him to the roof.

During the time that Jesus was teaching the crowd, they removed part of the tiles that were on the roof and lowered him directly in front of Him.  That would put a halt to a service that was already in process.

A man who was paralysed and was sitting on a mat hanging in the air in front of the teacher became the focus of attention.  What Jesus said, however, astounded them much more.  Jesus said, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

It wasn’t until much later, after Jesus had a conversation with the angry religious authorities, that he turned to the man who was paralysed and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home.”(v.24)  It was both physical and spiritual healing that was bestowed upon this man.  According to Luke, he “jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God.” (v.25)

Jesus went deeper than the man’s physical needs.  How often do you stop there in your prayers?  Jesus saw the man’s heart.  It was paralysed with guilt and sin.  The good news is that God offers the same forgiveness given to the paralytic to you and me.  The Greek word for forgiven is aphiemi, and it means to let go, to release or to send away from oneself, to be released from a debt.  He was forgiven!  His sin was put away!  His debt was cancelled. How does God do that?

First, Jesus paid the sin debt that we all owe.  His death on the cross satisfied the judgment of God against sin so that sin can no longer be held against one who trusts Jesus as their Saviour and has turned from that sin to Christ.

Secondly, the guilt caused by sin is removed and replaced by the righteousness of Christ.  That’s ultimate forgiveness!  You are so forgiven in Christ that, in God’s eyes, it is as if you had never sinned!  If you are carrying a heavy burden of guilt for sins you have committed that are paralysing you, confess them to Christ and receive aphiemi – ultimate forgiveness!

Let go of your hurts by giving them to Jesus. Release them to Him right now. Then, like this paralytic, you will jump up with a clear conscience praising God!  You are forgiven!

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