Who does that guy think he is? Standing up there saying something so brash like that, Your sins are forgiven you.
It can seem a startling thing, even in a Christian congregation, especially one that has just called itself poor, miserable, sinner. It can seem a startling thing to have another human being, you can be sure it’s another one who is poor and miserable and a sinner, standing in front of the people announcing something so bold like that. Sins forgiven you.
Jesus is the one himself who has given such a startling instruction. He says to the ones he himself is sending out to his people “if you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven them.”
Think of it this way: if you were to be going into surgery and you found out that the surgeon had himself undergone surgery or was about to another week or so down the road you wouldn’t object to that. You know that the surgeon is flesh like you or if the mother that serves you a meal sits down and eats the meal with you because her body needs the nourishment also, that wouldn’t be shocking to you, you would expect such a thing.
This is how God works for his people in the church as well. He is pleased to use a sinner he is called to speak in his place and through that sinner to announce to you and for your benefit the forgiveness of all of your sins.
It’s called the ‘absolution.’ Sins absorbed.
Hear that, even from another sinners mouth, for it’s good for you, for your soul, your sins are forgiven you. Believe it for Jesus sake. Amen.