Lk.5:21-24 – The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But, so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,”—He said to the paralytic—“I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.”
Who has the authority to forgive sins? The obvious answer, the only one a card carrying Pharisee would give was of course; only God has the authority to forgive sins. That’s the same answer I would have given before but in this case we are talking about a man, Jesus of Nazareth. Of course we know that He is the Son of God, no less than God the Son, but is that what gave Jesus authority to forgive our sins? There has to be more to it than that. Then one day I suddenly saw it, if God could just forgive our sins He never would have become a man. He never would have suffered and died. For the holy God sin had to be dealt with, sin had to be judged. That’s why Jesus became one of us, He became a man to suffer and die in our place. He came to be judged on my behalf. That’s why He could smile at this paralyzed man and tell Him, “take courage my son, your sins are forgiven”. The cross was in play now, Jesus would take this man’s sin whatever it was and be judged in his place. He did the same thing for me and for you. He took the punishment of my sin at the cross.
Now this brings us to the healing part. He not only told this man his sins were forgiven, He also said, “pick up your mat and go home”. He healed us by the same authority that He forgave us with. He bore our sins in His body on the cross as well as our diseases and maladies. By His stripes we were healed.
Jesus told the paralyzed man He was healed and forgiven because Jesus was headed to Calvary for Him. Today He tells us the same because He has already born our sin and our disease. Pick up your mat and go home, your sins are forgiven.