Monday, November 24, 2014

Which is Easier to Say? - Mark 2:1-12 Post 9

Chalkboard: Mark 2:1-12 Post 9
"He can't say that," they were thinking. "He isn't God."

When You asked them, "Why are you thinking these things?" (Mark 2:6-8), You knew the issue was You.

You responded, "Which is easier to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Get up, take
your mat, and walk'?" (Mark 2:9-10).

Which IS easier to say?

A lot of our words are just words.  I can say just about anything (although that doesn't mean I should).  When I say, "I hope you have a nice day," nobody knows to what extent I do or don't mean it.  "I'll pray for you," is easy to say - but how often do I say it and fail to follow through?  No one (besides You and I) knows if I did.

For the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who were there, "your sins are forgiven" would have been something easy to say, with no way to check if it was true or not.  It's not as if people whose sins are forgiven immediately grow a flower out of the top of their heads.  Forgiveness happens in a realm we cannot see.  It can be measured - but not by us.  

So...it's easy to say.

"Get up, take your mat, and walk," on the other hand - everyone will know right away.  The paralyzed man will either continue to lie there and all will know that the one who uttered those words is a fraud - or the paralyzed man will get up, and there will be no question about the authority of the speaker. 

You said, "...so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..."

and You told the paralytic to get up,...and he did. (Mark 2:10-12).

The proof that You have the authority to forgive sins is in Your authority over the paralyzed man's body.  The man who cannot move has picked up his mat and walked out, in front of everyone, at Your command.  They were amazed and praising God, but I wonder how many really understood the most important part about what had happened.

The man's sins were forgiven.  

The biggest miracle of all - You, Jesus, have the authority to forgive our sins, to restore us to relationship with the Father, to restore us to the Kingdom of God, to restore us to Yourself.

You have the authority because You are God, and because You Yourself made the way.  

You took our sins, You were pierced for our transgressions, our punishment was on You...by Your wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5).

When You said, "son, your sins are forgiven," You knew that You Yourself would make it true.  You knew what it would cost You to make it true.  

You were committing Yourself to make it true.  

So - which is easier to say:  "Your sins are forgiven," or "Get up, take your mat, and walk"?

That depends.  

For me, "your sins are forgiven" is easier - it costs me nothing.

For You, "your sins are forgiven" is harder.  For You it meant the cross.

 

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