ST MATTHEW’S story of the paralytic abbreviates St Mark’s
account. St Mark’s fuller story reads like a burial-scene. The paralytic
is helpless as the dead, he is carried out like the dead by his four bearers;
a hole is opened for him, as for the dead, and he is lowered into it, as
into his grave. But, falling, he does not fall into clay, he falls before
the feet of the Son of God, who says to him first ‘Thy sins are forgiven
thee’ and then ‘Arise and walk’. Jesus is by his own death the forgiveness
of our sins; he is the resurrection and the life through his own resurrection.
We are thrown into the life-giving sepulchre of Christ, we touch the slain
and living Christ, his body and his blood; our sins are forgiven us, and
we live by him; we arise to walk in all those good works that he has prepared
for us to walk in.