Forgiveness and mercy are the highest items on God’s agenda. The city of refuge was a designated place of grace where someone who had made a mistake could run for shelter and protection from revenge. When the high priest died, the person who had been spared from judgment was also restored to a normal life.
The man let down through the roof into Jesus’ presence heard Jesus tell him, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:20). That one statement encompassed both his forgiveness and his healing. When your sins are forgiven, healing is easy!
Jesus, our High Priest, died in our place. Now we are free to live as forgiven, restored sinners. When we were overcome by our sins, Jesus forgave our transgressions (Psalm 65:3). Though we cannot see sin, it is an overwhelming enemy. It afflicts us, crushes the life out of us, and can take us to hell forever.
Run to the city of refuge! Run to the mercy seat! You are forgiven through the blood of Christ, and now, like the paralytic, you can “stand up, take your mat, and go on home” (Luke 5:24).