Forgiveness heals us of the deepest injuries and wounds inflicted on us by our sins.
He was paralyzed and he wanted to walk. He couldn't get to Jesus, so his friends had to bring him. On a mat. Through the roof. Then, before Jesus healed his body, He healed his soul. He said,
"Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven."
In Matthew 9:1-8, Jesus used an opportunity to heal a man of his paralysis, to heal him of a much deeper problem, his sin. The scribes who were present mistook His statement as blasphemy, an insult to God. And, it would have been, had Jesus not been the Son of God with power over sin and the authority to forgive. Jesus chose to demonstrate that power and authority, by first forgiving the man's sin and before making him walk again.
Which is easier to say to a paralyzed man? To say, "your sins are forgiven," or to say "get up and walk"? It's easier to say "your sins are forgiven" because those present are unable to disprove such a statement. So, proving the easier by also doing the more difficult, Jesus then told the man to get up and walk, leaving the crowd "filled with awe" and praising God.
But for Jesus to say, "your sins are forgiven," He would later also have to do something very difficult. He would bear the weight of the man's sin and ours. He would endure the agony and pain of being scourged, the shame and jeering of those who stood and mocked, the weight of an unbearable cross and the torment of hanging by his wrists and heels. He would literally have to offer His last breath to make that statement effective because "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
Jesus' sacrifice: His death for my life, His righteousness for my sin.
We are all broken by sin to one degree or another. Wounded and scarred by our sins and the sins of our forebears. But, once we have received Jesus' healing touch and received His forgiveness, we can finally be made whole again. Healed, restored, renewed, forgiven. We all have a friend who also needs that healing touch in the deepest part of their soul. They need to hear that their sins are forgiven. Will you be bringing that friend to Jesus, too?