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From Heaven With Love

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    The Burden of Sin

    It was not physical restoration he desired so much as relief from the burden of sin. If he could receive the assurance of forgiveness and peace with Heaven, he would be content to die. The dying man had no time to lose. He besought his friends to carry him on his bed to Jesus, and this they gladly undertook to do. But so dense was the crowd where the Saviour was that it was impossible for the sick man and his friends even to come within hearing of His voice.HLv 173.3

    Jesus was teaching in the house of Peter, His disciples close about Him. And “there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem” as spies. Outside thronged the multitude, the eager, the reverent, the curious, the unbelieving. “And the power of the Lord was present to heal.” But the Pharisees and doctors did not discern the Spirit's presence. They felt no need, and the healing was not for them. “He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.” Luke 1:53.HLv 173.4

    The bearers of the paralytic tried to push their way through the crowd, but in vain. Must the sick man relinquish hope? At his suggestion his friends bore him to the top of the house and, breaking up the roof, let him down at the feet of Jesus.HLv 173.5

    The Saviour saw the pleading eyes fixed upon Him. He understood the case. While the paralytic was at home, the Saviour had brought conviction to his conscience. When he repented of his sins, the life-giving mercies of the Saviour first blessed his longing heart. Jesus had watched the first glimmer of faith grow stronger with every effort to come into His presence.HLv 174.1

    Now, in words that fell like music on the sufferer's ear, the Saviour said, “Son ... thy sins be forgiven thee.” The burden of despair rolled from the sick man's soul; the peace of forgiveness shone out on his countenance. His pain was gone, his whole being was transformed. The helpless paralytic was healed, the guilty sinner pardoned!HLv 174.2

    In simple faith he accepted the words of Jesus. He urged no further request, but lay in blissful silence. The people looked on with awe.HLv 174.3

    The rabbis recollected how the man had appealed to them for help, and they, refusing him hope or sympathy, had declared he was suffering the curse of God for his sins. They marked the interest with which all were watching the scene and felt a terrible fear of losing their influence over the people. Looking into one another's faces they read the same thought—something must be done to arrest the tide of feeling. Jesus had declared the sins of the paralytic forgiven. The Pharisees could present this as blasphemy, a sin worthy of death. “It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” RSV.HLv 174.4

    Fixing His glance on them, Jesus said, “Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” RSV.HLv 174.5

    Then he who had been borne on a litter to Jesus rose to his feet with the elasticity and strength of youth. Every organ of his body sprang into activity. The glow of health succeeded the pallor of approaching death. “And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.”HLv 174.6

    Creative power restored health to that decaying body. The same voice that spoke life to man created from the dust of the earth spoke life to the dying paralytic. And the same power that gave life to the body had renewed the heart. Christ bade the paralytic arise and walk, “that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.”HLv 175.1

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