Many of you know the story in Luke 5. Jesus is standing before the paralytic. His friends have asked Him to heal the man. Pharisees and other religious folk are watching. And Jesus tells the man, “Your sins are forgiven.”
We pick up the story in verse 21: “The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks
blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
And, of course, they were right. No one on earth can forgive sins because all sins are ultimately sins against Almighty God. But that is precisely the point, isn’t it? Jesus alone can forgive sins against Almighty God because He IS Almighty God incarnate – in the flesh of a man.
The writer to the Hebrews reminds us of the same truth: “Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17 Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation [sacrificial atonement] for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:14-17)
The Lord Jesus is the Almighty Creator in the flesh. But only those who have eyes to see can see that. Only those with ears to hear can hear that. Only those with humble and honest hearts can believe that.
The rest are hardened and blinded and deafened to truth because they – for whatever is their motive – don’t want to accept that truth.
Today is Ash Wednesday – the first day of the Lenten season. Lent begins the time when all people everywhere, regardless of their creed, race, or whatever else that divides us – Lent is a season during which all people are urged to take the time to reflect on their own sins against God and against others. Certainly, all can seek God at any other time during the year, but this season is especially set apart in the Christian calendar as a time during which all people are urged and encouraged to:
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:7)
I very much hope you will seek the Lord today for forgiveness. I very much hope you will seek Him while you still have the time, because none of us know how much time we have.