Day 36, April 10

“It is finished.” –John 19:30

Jesus knew immediately what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!” (Mark 2:8–11 NLT)

When Jesus told the paralyzed man his sins were forgiven, the teachers of religious law who were present were shocked. According to the Law of Moses, the forgiveness of sins is only possible through the shedding of blood as a sacrifice, and forgiveness can only be granted by God. In the minds of these teachers, Jesus was either claiming a power only God could claim or, worse, Jesus was claiming to be God. To them, both of these claims were not only blasphemous but impossibilities.

To prove that the impossible had indeed come to pass—that He was God living among them—Jesus performed an impossible deed: healing a man of his paralysis, allowing him to walk. This is the first time in His still burgeoning ministry in the book of Mark that Christ explicitly declares His divine nature. He still performs impossible deeds even today, the greatest of which being the healing of our souls through salvation. Every time we pray for someone to be healed of sin, an illness, or a disease, we are inviting God to perform such a miracle. Spend time in intercession for your friends and loved ones who are far from God, sick, frail, or in need of healing.