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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
34- Christ the Lord Forgave Sins
(C) Christ the Lord Forgave Sins
(1) He forgave the paralytic his sins and said to him plainly: "Your sins are forgiven you" (Matt. 9:2); (Mk. 2:5); (Lk. 5:20). When some of the scribes reasoned in their hearts, saying: "Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Mk. 2:7), the Lord said to them: "'Why do you think evil in your hearts?.. But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins' then He said to the paralytic, 'Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house' " (Matt. 9:4,6); (Mk. 2:7-10).
(2) Christ the Lord forgave the sins of the sinful woman who washed His feet with her tears, and said to her: "Your sins are forgiven" (Lk. 7:48). Then those who were present grumbled and said to themselves: "Who is this who even forgives sins?" (Lk. 7:49)
(3) Christ the Lord forgave the sins of the thief who was crucified with Him and opened for him the gates of Paradise, despite his evil past, saying to him, "Today you will be with Me in Paradise" (Lk. 23:43).
(4) Christ's forgiving people their sins was not trespass on God's prerogatives. Because after He had said to the paralytic: "Your sins are forgiven you". He healed him and the man arose, carried his bed and walked. If Christ had overstepped His bounds in this miracle and trespassed on the rights of the Father, He would not have been able to heal the paralytic after granting him forgiveness.
(D) Conclusion: Christ Is God
Although everyone believes that God alone forgives sins, yet Christ forgave the sins of the paralytic, the sinful woman, the Penitent Thief and others by mere order, and not through prayers in which He asked the absolution from God the Father as priests do, and we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other pages. He forgave them by order, saying: "Your sins are forgiven you". and not by saying: "Go, the Lord forgives you." He also plainly said that He had authority on earth to forgive sins.
When the Jews said that the forgiveness of sins belongs to God alone, He did not object that principle but rather kept that understanding and showed His authority to forgive. He then proved this authority by performing a miracle in front of them as if He were telling them: "I am This God who alone has the authority to forgive sins."
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