Fellowship at Cross Creek
The Story of Sin… Part XV:
The Authority to Erase All Imperfection!
By Joseph M. Cross
3/19/14 Essentially, via the story of “Yah-Saves’ Elijah” or “John the Baptist,” we have been making the case that what the Lord’s angel meant when he instructed Joseph “to name the child (to be born to his betrothed, Mary) ‘Yah-Saves‘ (that is ‘Jesus’ in Greek) because he will save the people from their sins” and what others, including Joseph himself, would have understood the angel’s words to mean, particularly his last words, “because he will save the people from their sins,” may have been light years apart! The angels’ s meaning is still unfolding within our New Testament “Story of Sin”; how the people thought Yah-Saves would save them from their sins, well that is another matter and leads us to two critical questions: 1) What is at the heart of this huge interpretative disconnect between Jesus and the religious leaders and 2) how was Yah-Saves’ Elijah or John the Baptist attempting to correct this critical misunderstanding? Below is a story from early in the life of Yah-Saves that brings this interpretative disconnect into a much sharper focus. Mark 2:1 When He (Jesus; Yah-Saves) had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, not even near the door; and He was speaking the Word to them. 3 And they *came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. 4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. 5 And Jesus (Yah-Saves) seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, *said to them, “Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? 10 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’ I want to go back to vv. 6-7: “But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?'” This won’t be the only time the religious leaders will bring up this question of “who has the real authority to forgive or release a soul from its sin or imperfection?” In fact, the religious leaders ask a very similar questions in Luke 7:36ff. A woman with a “well-known sinner’s reputation” crashes a dinner given in Yah-Saves honor by a religious leader named Simon. In a desperate act of worship, she literally washes his feet with her tears and then dries his now moist feet with the locks of her hair. For her devotion, Jesus sensing what the woman is really asking or needing–a very imperfect slate wiped clean by someone with the divine authority to wipe it clean–does exactly that. In front of his host and his host’s other guests, Yah-Saves very graciously forgives, or releases, the woman with a very checkered past of all her sins. He then goes on to tell her that it was her trust…her belief…that has “saved” or “delivered” her…that is exactly what Yah-Save came to do…”save the people from their sins.” In turn, the religious leaders ask, just as they did when Jesus forgave the paralytic (Mark 2): “Who is this that even forgives or releases imperfection?” (Luke 7:49). So here we have two very different stories. In one story, one person is physically restored; in the other, another is emotionally restored. But Yah-Saves says the same thing: “Your sins or imperfections are released,” and in both cases, the religious leaders who are witnessing these events ask, who is this that is forgiving or releasing these imperfections? And in one case, think…”Only God can do this?” What is going on here? Why is Yah-Saves forgiving sins or imperfections and why are the religious leaders struggling or calling into question Yah-Saves authority to do this? Bottom line: What is the disconnect? First, notice in the Mark passage Jesus both senses and answers the religious leaders’ thoughtful indignations by asking, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’? But so 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, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.” And amazingly the paralytic did the seemingly impossible! He did what he could not do before–with restored muscles, he raised himself up again and walked, and ALL, rightfully so, were amazed! (vv. 9-12). In other words, Yah-Saves does NOT quietly avoid the issue, but instead provokes it! “I could have easily said, ‘Get up and walk!’ but had I only said that and the paralytic stood and walked, then you would not have known who is it that is commanding the paralytic to get up and walk.” But so that YOU may know just WHO it is that is commanding the crippled man to get up and walk again, like a streak of lightning across the nighttime sky, Yah-Saves declares for all the world to hear, know and understand–it is Daniel 7’s “Son of Man” that releases this crippled man from his imperfections! And what does Daniel 7 have to say about just who or what is the “Son of Man”? Let’s read… Dan. 7:13 “I (Daniel, a 6th-century B.C. Jewish prophet living in exile in Babylon) kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man (or simply, ‘man’) was coming, (And where did the Son of Man go to?) And He came up to the Ancient of Days (God) And was presented before Him (God). 14 “And to Him (one like the Son of Man) was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His (one like the Son of Man) dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.” In essence, regardless of how the Jewish scholars or rabbis in Yah-Saves’ day might have interpreted Dan. 7 (whether the “Son of Man” was Israel’s promised Davidic Messiah or not?), Yah-Saves is emphatically stating, right from the start of his prophetic ministry: I AM the Son of Man, and it is the Son of Man (who has been given all authority by the Ancient of Days himself, as prophesied in Daniel 600 years previous) to forgive or release a soul, even a cripple-bodied soul, from his sins, flaws or imperfections! And why? Because you are right, my religious doubters: “Only God can forgive sins,” and guess what? That’s right. I AM God is in your midst. God in the flesh. Yah (I AM) in the flesh. Yah, who saves and delivers men from their sins and imperfections, HERE, in the flesh…”one like a ‘Son of Man'” or “one like a man.” Yah (I AM) who has the divine authority to forgive spiritual offenses and end God’s judgment for man’s Spiritual offenses, including ALL former offenses and guilt–the collective guilt of a nation or people, as Isaiah foretold (over seven hundred years earlier) God would do at his appearing: “Comfort, Comfort my people…for her iniquity (sin, guilt) has (finally) been removed…” (Is. 40:off). Thus from the very beginning of Yah-Saves’ ministry, he is putting the religious leaders of his day on notice…Yah-Saves is not only God’s MESSIAH (or “anointed one”…Dan. 9:25), he is ONE like a SON OF MAN who has received all authority from the Ancient of Days (Dan. 7:13) including the authority to pardon and save or deliver men (Mark 2) AND WOMEN (Luke 7) from all their 5 imperfections. And with these powerfully chosen words, from the onset, the battle lines will have been drawn. All salvation goes through Yah-Saves. All pardon…all forgiveness…all release from former crimes and sins comes directly through “one like the son of a man” or “a man” himself–ME! I am the pardoner from sin. I am the sin-deliverer! I am God! I am God in the flesh, and I have authority! your servant, jc