Easily Said…

by Lester Young

Remember when Jesus told a certain man his sins were forgiven and the peanut gallery immediately got bent out of shape about it? (Luke 5:20-21) I’ve always found the Lord’s answer to their reaction very interesting. For some reason I can just picture Jesus with one of those nonchalant, half-blank ‘Boy, are you serious?’ smirks on His face as He replied, “Well, which one’s easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or ‘Get up and walk’?” (Luke 5:23 my paraphrase) But what was He getting at with that remark?

Of course, in order to completely understand what Jesus was saying, we have to continue on with His full response: “‘Which is simpler: to say ‘I forgive your sins,’ or to say ‘Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .’ He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: ‘Get up. Take your bedroll and go home.’ Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it – got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way” (Luke 5:23-25 The Message Translation)

Jesus was ‘authorized’ on earth to do both – to forgive sins and also to heal and make well – because those two issues are intimately related and connected. The fact of the matter is that one – forgiveness from sin – is the ’cause’ of the other, and the other – wellness and wholeness – is the rightful result or ‘effect’ of the one. Now, Proverbs 26:2 clearly states that “the curse causeless [or, without a rightful reason] shall not come.” The curse gets its authority and power to impinge on us – to steal from, kill and destroy us (John 10:10) – from our transgression of the Law (Romans 5:12-13, 6:23, 7:7-11; Hebrews 2:14-15). However, Jesus completely did away with all (and ‘all’ means all) the handwritten, Law-transgressing charges against us because they were nailed to His cross at the same time He was (Colossians 2:14).

What does this mean? Well, if Jesus is the Lord and Savior of your life, it means that the curse has absolutely no legal right to come upon you, to stick to you, to harm you, to take from you or to generally fool with you – in any way! Jesus has taken away all legal right, claim and and cause for the curse to mess with you. In other words, He’s redeemed you from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). And if the curse has lost all rights to you, then so have all the effects of the curse – sickness, disease, lack, poverty, decrease and destruction whether large or small; in short, all evil in any form! (Psalm 91:10; Isaiah 54:15, 17)

So, when Jesus posed the question, “Which one’s easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or ‘Get up and walk’?” He was (cryptically) declaring that those two choices are simply two opposite ends of the same rope – that is, the same issue. If He said, “Your sins are forgiven,” then that necessarily implied that the curse had no more right to make or keep that man sick – or broke or hopeless or anything else listed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68 – because the curse gets its right to invade from sin. If, on the other hand, the Lord had said, “Get up and walk,” then that would have necessarily implied the man’s sins had indeed been forgiven, and so he didn’t have to remain in his present condition of illness. Either way it would’ve meant the same thing: that Jesus has dealt with sin and all of its effects. Need proof? Well, the man got up, rolled up his bed and got to stepping – praising and glorifying God all the way home! (Luke 5:25) He wouldn’t have been able to do that if his sins were still legally being held against him. ‘The proof of the pudding…’ as they say (Matthew 11:19 The Message Translation).

The proof of that Truth is available in our lives, too. We just need to receive it by faith. Jesus has broken the curse’s power to harm us by defeating the Sin problem once and for all. And if the curse has no more right to us, that can only mean one thing: all that’s left is the Blessing! (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Galatians 3:13-14)

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