Matthew 9: 2b (NKJV) And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
Jesus spoke these words before the last supper, before He went to the cross and before the resurrection. If the price for our sins is the sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross, how could He say this before He went to the cross? The answer is something I believe can give us a very deep comfort in our struggle against our temptations. The answer is in the nature of God Himself. God is not constrained by time. From His perspective, all times are NOW. An interesting way to think of it might be saying: “God doesn’t know the future, He remembers the future.” God is outside of time, outside of any material or natural thing. He is utterly “other”, unlike anything or anyone. From God’s perspective, the cross has always been completed, even before time itself began. This is why “all judgment has been given to the Son” because it is Jesus who decides to whom the grace of forgiveness will be given. Notice that Jesus responded to faith – yet He was being asked for a healing, not forgiveness. Still, in response to a simple trust in God for a physical need, He gave the man by far more than what he was asking, something so powerful it stretches beyond the constraints of time and physics and biology. When I ask Jesus to forgive me of my sins He forgives them all –even the ones, from my perspective, I have not yet committed but from His perspective are ancient history. They are all washed away.