Today’s reading: Leviticus 26-27; Mark 2
14 “But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, 15 if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. Leviticus 26:14-16
5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Mark 2:5
The picture the Lord paints of life in the Promised Land, pending full obedience on the part of Israel, is nothing short of glorious. Everything the heart could legitimately long for was included as long as the people were careful to obey God’s law. The contrasting consequences, should they not be faithful, were a nightmare. They would experience disease, famine, insecurity, families torn apart, and, ultimately, ejection from the land.
As we will see in the ensuing centuries, Israel experienced all of the consequences of which they had been warned. Even so, the Messiah did come to them. Jesus Christ came and healed the sick, cast out demons, preached the good news of the kingdom of God, and, in today’s reading, forgave the sins of a paralytic.
Jesus did not teach that there was always a direct correspondence between a person’s sins and his diseases (John 9:1-3), but He did show that He had power to forgive sin and He had power to eradicate the impact of sin and the fallen condition of our bodies and our world.
Disobedience brought death, but Jesus overcame both. The good news is that the kingdom of God is at hand, so, repent and believe the gospel! The day is coming when this fallen world will be made new and God’s forgiven, redeemed people will enter into a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells forever.