God is the Great Liberator, willing and able to set us free from any area of bondage in our life. Throughout the Scriptures, people were delivered from fear, bitterness, imprisonment, sickness, financial lack, and all sorts of other things.
One day Jesus was teaching to a packed house in Capernaum. Hearing that He was in town, four men carried their paralyzed friend to the meeting, hoping He would heal him (Mark 2:1-12). But the men soon discovered that things were far more difficult than they expected. There was such a large crowd that they couldn’t even get in the door.
Look at the powerful principle in what happened next. These men wouldn’t let anything stop them in their mission. They climbed up on the roof, dug a hole, and lowered their crippled friend to Jesus.
What amazing dedication! I love how the Bible says “they had broken through” (v. 4). Sometimes it requires this kind of perseverance to receive our breakthrough from God. We may need to climb higher and do some digging!
Can you relate to this paralyzed man? Are you feeling “stuck” in some area of your life, desperate for a miracle to give you hope again?
The paralytic had come for one reason: to receive a physical healing. So he must have been baffled when Jesus said instead, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (v. 5).
How puzzling this must have been! The four friends probably wanted to reply, “Jesus, don’t you get it? We didn’t bring this man all the way here, and then dig a hole on the roof of the house, just so he could hear about forgiveness.”
It must have been hard to grasp that forgiveness was the initial key to unlock everything else their crippled friend needed. Jesus first set him free from his SINS, then He released him from his SICKNESS and paralysis:
“Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God (vs. 9-12).
What a fantastic demonstration of Jesus’ ability to break every chain in our lives, and it’s all because of what He did for us on the cross:
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows…
He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5).
Foretelling Jesus’ death centuries in advance, this passage lists some of the things His death liberated us from: griefs…sorrows… transgressions…and iniquities. And as a result, it says we can receive His peace and be healed.
No More Condemnation
Friend, make sure you’ve stopped at the cross to receive His pardon from guilt and deliverance from shame. Every other type of liberation begins with that.
If God has forgiven your shortcomings and sins, why should YOU remember them? If the enemy keeps sowing condemnation in your life by bringing up your painful or sinful past, remember this: The devil is a liar! God’s Word says, “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
Once you grasp the truth that Jesus bore ALL your guilt and shame, you’ll be set free from the paralyzing traumas of your past. And that will also set you free to rise up and experience a new beginning in the Lord. He will lift you higher than you’ve ever been before!
Ben Cerullo has been named by Charisma Magazine as one of the “30 Emerging Voices” who will lead the church in the next decade. His ministry carries a powerful anointing and prophetic message. Traveling extensively, both domestically and internationally, he has spoken in more than 27 nations. God continues to use him to reach people with the Gospel, confirming His Word with signs following.
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