A Doctor’s Perspective on the Forgiveness of Sin
Written by Ps Alby Yip
A Blessed Easter to all!
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that I am reading the Gospel of Luke in my plan to read through the Bible in a year, at this season of Lent, and as I undergo two surgeries. Luke’s narratives, written with a doctor’s perspective, has given me a renewed appreciation and assurance as I go through my surgeries and a long road to recovery.
The account of the Lord’s healing of the paraplegic (Luke 5:17-26) opened my eyes to see afresh the power of the Lord’s healing. This miracle of the healing of the paraplegic was also recorded by Matthew and Mark. But what fascinates me about Luke’s account was his subtle way of describing the healing with a doctor’s lens.
While Matthew and Mark record the paraplegic standing up upon the Lord’s command, only Luke adds the word “immediately” (Luke 5:25). I do not know how long the man was paralysed, but in my experience after surgery, my fingers had to be immobilised for a month for the stitches to close. And after that month of being immobilised, my fingers were painful and stiff. I will need months of therapy to regain full function of my hand. But for the paralytic, Luke describes, “Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.”
I believe, prompted by the Spirit, Luke was describing much more than the immediacy of the healing. Luke was proclaiming the immediacy and absoluteness of the forgiveness of sins upon the Lord’s pronouncement! Even though we are far removed from the Lord’s physical ministry, this pronouncement is also made available to us through the finished work of Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection.
Hence, we commemorate Lent each year not just for the occasion, but more so as a reminder to come to this sin-forgiving Lord Jesus. As the days and months pass by, each of us would have contracted some form of spiritual paralysis. We need to be healed so that we may rise again to continue with our spiritual walk. Each season of Lent, until the Lord’s glorious return, is grace extended to us and an invitation for us to come to this Lord Jesus whose pronouncement of forgiveness is immediate and absolute, “‘Your sins are forgiven, … ‘Get up and walk’” (Luke 5:23).