You are Forgiven

We are in n a new series in the Gospel of Luke. The sermon series on Sundays is Dignity Restored and it looks at the ministry of Jesus to restore: restore broken bodies, broken hearts, broken spirits. Jesus is on a mission to restore our humanity… dignity.

Fundamentally, that restoration has its grounding in the life, death and resurrection of Christ: the atonement, forgiveness, adoption, etc. But this restoration is not just for spirit but also for our physical existence as well. This is shown powerfully in resurrection

But can Jesus come through for us?

Does have the authority or the power? Does he have the will?

We will take those things one at a time in next few sermons but we start today with the power to restore.

Luke 5:17-26

17 One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

In the passage, we see a group of men carrying a paralytic (perhaps their friend) and bringing him to Jesus for healing. They couldn’t get into the house because of the crowd, but their affection and sense of urgency is such that it leads them to tear a whole in the roof to lower the paralytic to Jesus!

What would create in you such passion as to break a window on the second floor of a home just to get in? Perhaps a certainty that what you desperately need is inside! Jesus responds to their certainty:

20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”

At first we may think this an odd response but it may go to the most profound wounding we have when facing trials. How many of us when we are heartbroken, have lost a job, face the end of a relationship, hear a hard diagnosis think we are being punished by God?  How many of us believe we’ve done something wrong? We have failed as husband, father, mother. And this is the result.

I suppose we are looking for the Lord to mend our hearts by bringing healing or giving us back what we’ve lost, but we feel judgment profoundly! Jesus sees that emotional and spiritual wounding. And he says to this man… to us… your sins are forgiven

Most of us stumble for words in helping a friend in crisis, but some people seem to know how to speak to our hurts. Jesus is that kind of person. Jesus can also address our deepest spiritual wound: condemnation. It’s important to note that his power to forgive sins is grounded in dying in our place. Whatever our failures might, or might not, be, Jesus doesn’t turn a blind eye to them so he can create a fairy tale fiction and pretend nothing is wrong. No. He sees our failings for what they are and then he takes them on himself, and they are paid for in his death on the cross. This gives Jesus the power to tell this man: your sins are forgiven.

And your sins… they are forgiven. You are forgiven.

Do you need that redemption? Seek Jesus out! Tear down whatever barriers there are between you and him… whether roofing tiles or pride. He has the healing you need so seek him out! He has a verdict you need to hear! And its good news!

Blessing son you all!

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