Today is 1 May–Workers Day. So, I spent the day working in the garden. It was a productive day, as I accomplished quite a lot … but as always, there is a but! I accomplished quite a lot, but as I was finishing off the day in preparation for tomorrow, I made a mistake.
We have a bush commonly known as a Crane Flower Bush. Its scientific name is Strelitzia reginae, and it is also called “bird of paradise”. I decided to cut away all the leaves and their stems that hung down too far. Some years ago, we put a strong, thin nylon rope around the bush to keep the leaves up. In the process of cutting away the leaves and their stems I cut off one of the pieces of rope that went around the bush. Now that’s a tragedy … yet there is another but. I cut ofd one of the pieces of rope, but I can repair the rope and restore it to its purpose.
How often do we make mistakes and sin? Sin breaks a relationship, sin breaks fellowship, sin breaks trust, sin breaks happiness. It’s like the rope I cut–when it broke, it caused all four strains wrapped around the bush to collapse. I can repair it. I can remove all the rope and either splice it together or just tie it securely and it’s good to go. The problem with us is that we can’t do anything about our sin. That means we can’t repair our broken relationships, broken fellowship, broken trust, broken happiness, our broken anything, because we can’t deal with our sin. Sin breaks.
In Luke 5 we read the account of a crippled man being brought to Jesus by his friends. The earnestness of the friends is easily seen, but so is the evil intent of the Pharisees and teachers of the law!
Lk 5:17 One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18 Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19 When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20 When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. . . .” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”
As soon as Jesus sees this crippled man He says, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.” Yet, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law immediately accuse Jesus of blasphemy and pose the question, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Now that’s the point. They admitted that only God can deal with sins, forgiving them, and before them was God Himself in the flesh! He alone can forgive sin, heal the soul and repair man’s brokenness.
What encourages me here is that there is a but with the solution. Who can forgive sins but God alone? But God! We are sinful, and our sin causes our broken relationships, broken fellowship, broken trust, broken happiness, broken everything. Jesus alone can forgive the sin to get us into spiritual shape to go about repairing those broken relationships, broken fellowship, broken trust, broken happiness … that broken anything.
Lord Jesus, please forgive my sin so that with your help I may go about repairing my broken relationships, broken fellowship, broken trust, broken happiness, so that I might love you and those around me to bring glory to You. Amen.