The phrase, “Your sins are forgiven,” is a very powerful one. Reasonable, we can infer from this that sin could be forgiven before the death of Jesus. This suggests that all of the speculation surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus as some form of a transaction whereby sins are forgiven in return for the death of Jesus have been misguided.
I think that this phrase is part of the good news of Jesus. The other part? That God loves humanity unconditionally. If you’ve read my first blog, you will know how important this foundation is to me.
How does Mark 2:10 support this? Well, in my last blog I discussed the meaning of the Aramaic title “son of man.” If we interpret this passage in such a way, it reads, “But so that you may know that the (average person) has the authority to forgive sins…” The average person has the authority to forgive sins…
So, for those who desire structure, as I do, what does this mean on a larger stage? It means that God’s love has always been unconditional, and that sin understood to result in a distancing from God which can only be forgiven by God is a human social construct.
We humans, through our own definitions of sin, have separated ourselves from God.
It was Jesus’ beautiful message to tell us this. To let us know that it is up to us, the average person, to forgive each other and ourselves for our perceived sins and that God has been waiting for us to do so with open arms for generations.
If the question burning in your mind is, “Then why did Jesus’ die on the cross,” the answer lies in the future of this blog. Just sit and contemplate the possibility of this good news for now, and what it means for your life.
All of those things you thought had separated you from God? They were all in your head. God is there with you, loving you, desiring only for you to turn your face to Him.
I want to note that this does not mean that there are no consequences to your actions. For every action, there is a reaction, and that reaction can negatively impact you.
This does, however, mean you can do whatever you want, you always could. Doing those things which God does not desire for you does not make you evil, dirty, or less than. It simply makes God sad. Just as any good parent is sad when their child decides to partake in actions the parents knows to be dangerous or harmful to their child. He respects your freedom to choose, but waits patiently for you to return, just as the prodigal son’s father did.
This is the Good News of Jesus Christ, that God loves us, has always loved us, has always forgiven our sins, our wanderings, our doubts.
How does this change your image of God? Does this make sense to you? If you are already a Christian, doesn’t this fit with the God of Jesus that you have come to know personally? If you are not a Christian, doesn’t this sound like a God of Love that would cause those following the law to turn away from it?
This message is the power that transformed Judaism into Christianity. It is this message that earned followers, that transformed hearts, that healed the broken, and that earns converts every day.
Be still, and know that you are loved.