"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."
My friend, though a stranger to me, let me ask you this question: Could anything make you so truly happy, as to know for certain that your sins were forgiven? To hear those words, "Thy sins be forgiven thee?" Yes, thy sins: all of them — every sin of thy heart and sin of thy life — forgiven thee. Is it possible that this blessedness shall be thine? Compared with eternity, thou hast only a few hours to live. At the end of these few hours, what is thy prospect? What a thought! soon, very soon, thou wilt be in glory or in hell. Nothing can be more certain. Is thy foot lifted up in the paths of sin? Hold! another step, and thou mayest be lost.
Whatever had that man done to whom Jesus spake those wondrous words, "Thy sins be forgiven thee?" Let us look at Mark 2:1-12. Why, this seems strange; he had done nothing; he was too sick to do anything. He could not walk, nor even stand. He was borne of four, and they let down the bed whereon the sick of the palsy lay. What a picture of man's condition, sin-sick; so prostrate that he can do nothing! Sin-palsied; so bad, he cannot walk; cannot stand. True of you, true of me, true of all. "For all have sinned." "There is no difference." Every limb palsied every thought defiled with sin.
And they let him down to the feet of the Son of God? Have you been let down? Every sinner saved by grace has a letting down — down, down, down — and many a time, when he thinks himself let down, self has still to be let down, down.
Some are let down at once, utterly lost sinners, at the feet of Jesus, and at once are saved. It takes years to let down the self-righteous pride of others. But to be let down in the deep sense of sin and misery, fairly to sink at the feet of Jesus, and then to hear the first words of the Son of God, "Thy sins be forgiven thee," — this is blessedness indeed! Oh, my reader, have you, now, have you, been brought as a lost, helpless, hell-deserving sinner, to Jesus? Oh, have you? Hush! listen. Look at Jesus. He proposes no conditions to that helpless man. He does not say, If thou wert a little better, or if thou wouldst walk a little, or if thou wilt promise this or that. No, blessed Jesus! that would not have been like Thee; that would not have been grace. Oh, how men do misrepresent Thee, my precious, pardoning, gracious Lord! Jesus pardoned first, and then gave power to walk. And still He pardons first, and then gives power to walk in holiness before God. Is not this just what a sinner needs! To be pardoned and saved first, and that being settled, then he has divine power, by the Spirit of God, to live as a child of God, and walk in holiness.
Look again at Jesus. What are those wounds in His hands and side? Oh! they tell us He has been dead and is alive again. "Without shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins." "He died, the just for the unjust." "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." All is finished. Reader, dost thou believe?