Friday, December 16, 2022


If there's one thing we see Jesus saying over and over again in the Gospels when He has encounters with individuals - individuals who are seeking His attention, His affection, His healing, His power, His whatever - it's these words: 

Your sins are forgiven

We've talked about this before, but it bears mentioning again. Because it's easy for us in our post-Cross understanding of Christ to talk about the forgiveness of sins as the ultimate aim of His coming, as something He would obviously do. But we have to also realize that not one of these men or women that He encounters in the Gospels asked for this. No one came to Him and said, "Jesus, I need my sins forgiven."

No, these were blind men, lame men, beggars, tax collectors, sinful women, bleeding women, the outcast, the downtrodden. They wanted healing, freedom, mercy, recognition, place, whatever. No one asks to be forgiven of their sins. Yet, that is the one thing He keeps telling them over and over. 

Your sins are forgiven.


It's because these men and women were living with an understanding of the world in which the things that they suffered were a direct result of their own sin. Remember the blind man? The people asked Jesus, "Who sinned? This man or his parents?" There was no affliction in the time of Jesus apart from sin, not the way the people understood it. So if you just open a blind man's eyes, that leaves a really nagging soul question left to be answered - am I still a sinner? What about all the things I've done wrong? What if I'm not good enough to remain healed? What about my sin?

We have pretty much the same questions today. Because we know ourselves so well, because our faults and failures are too often at the forefront of our minds, we have trouble with the good things of God. We have trouble believing and understanding and accepting because we know that we are sinners. We know we keep messing up. We know that at our core, there's something still off about who we are. There's a nagging soul question left to be answered for us. 

What we most need from Jesus, a lot of us, is to be forgiven.

We need to know that our past isn't going to be held against us. We need to know that we're bigger than our worst moment. We need to know that there's more to us than the things that haunt us and keep us awake at night. We need to know that there's a Holy Ghost, not just a ghost of sinful past. We need to know that there's a way to move forward from here without the baggage we've been carrying for far too long. 

What Jesus said so many times in the Gospels are the very words that we still need to hear Him say in our own lives. 

Your sins are forgiven

And we hear them in His very own voice, His embodied, here-with-us voice. 


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