“Just as the Father sent me
I myself am also sending you.”
Having said this he breathed on them and said to them
“Receive the Ruach HaKodesh! [Holy Spirit]
If you forgive someone’s sins
Their sins are forgiven;
If you hold them, they are held.”
-Yochanan (John) 20:21-23 (Jewish New Testament)
What is this? Is it possible that disciples of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach can go about with the same authority as Yeshua and ‘forgive sins’! Can you imagine what people today would say if you said to them, “Your sins are forgiven”? You can say a lot of things to people but that wouldn’t be among one of the most popular things you could say to them. In fact, they might have you locked up for having ‘religious delusions’!
As for whether sins are ‘forgiven’ or ‘held’, which statement many puzzle about, Yeshua was quite clear that he had come for ‘the sick’ for the ‘healthy’ don’t need a doctor. It is highly unlikely that the arrogant, proud, the ‘I’m-alright-Jack’ – the ‘healthy’ – will be in need of your services. However, they will need your prayers! But the sick, who well know they have ‘sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God’, who need to know that full restoration of relationship with God has been provided through Yeshua – forgive them their sins just as Yeshua Ha’Mashiach gave you the power and authority to do and restore them to God.
It is stunning to realize the tremendous place of trust that Yeshua has placed us in; and it calls for trust in Him to walk in the Way and on the same path as He walked. Turn, trust in Him who has put us in a place of trust, ‘forgive sins’ just as Yeshua forgave, lift up the person who needs restoration and restore them to God.
The Lord is coming!