“I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Matthew 9:6)
We all have a tendency to mistake wants for needs. We frequently say, “I need this” or “that” when, in actuality, we don’t need it at all; we simply want it and we want it so badly that we put it in the category of “need.” With that being said—that thought should give us all a moment of pause today to check our “want” list—I’d like to encourage you by explaining the importance of understanding our greatest need and how it has already been met.
The greatest need every person has is forgiveness. Unless our sins are forgiven, we will spend eternity separated from the love of God in that terrible place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Luke 13:28). To die without Christ is to die in our sins . . . and to die does not mean that one simply “goes in the ground” and has no more consciousness, like a TV screen turned off and gone black, as many unbelievers imagine. Nor does it mean that one will be translated into some idyllic, vaguely defined “better place.” To die in your sins means to suffer dreadful, agonizing, and eternal separation from the presence of the living God.
But this will not be the case for those who know the truth of today’s verse and have, by grace through faith, received it as true and placed their trust in the Son of Man. Our Lord Jesus Christ has the authority and the power to forgive our sins—all of our sins. Jesus Christ was born to die in our place to pay the penalty for our sins, and He has the power to pardon us at this very moment, no matter what we have done. His wounds bear witness to that power and authority.
He who knew no sin became sin for all those who will trust in Him as Lord and Savior—penalty paid . . . atonement made . . . debt satisfied. God the Father put His supernatural stamp of approval on the cross work of His beloved Son by raising Him from the grave on the third day, just as the Scriptures had promised. To all those whom He has granted repentance from sin, He has also guaranteed remission of sin. The power of Christ’s passion is perpetual. Never will the fountain of forgiveness run dry. Christian, nothing—nothing past, present, or future—can ever or will ever separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
May this truth set us free from the gnawing guilt that keeps us from growing into the person God is calling us to be! To be sure, we should be filled with a godly sorrow when we sin and break the heart of God. But after we have brought our sin before the throne of grace, we are to remember that it has been nailed to the cross and washed clean by the blood of the Lamb.
Beloved, because your greatest need has been met, you should be experiencing the peace that passes all understanding every day. Do not let the evil one make you a prisoner to your past. We are to learn from the past, not live there. Because His mercies are new every morning, rise up this day and live as one who has been forgiven and will never be forsaken. Oh, the joy in knowing that our greatest need has been met and will be met each day by our Master!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!