Jesus continually said, "your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5b (NRSV)
Why did he say this?
What did he know?
The most likely answer to these questions is that Jesus himself had been forgiven by God.
This, of course, contradicts the orthodox assertion that Jesus was without sin - the lamb without spot.
But how would Jesus have known that God forgives people's sins unless his own sins had been forgiven by God?
Contrary to the orthodox position I believe that Jesus was an ordinary human being like you or me. An ordinary human being with sins like any of us who drew close to God. And this experience caused him to say "your sins are forgiven." Mark 2:5b (NRSV)
And he says it to everyone.
"'For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.'" Matthew 9:13b (NRSV)
"'For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.'" Luke 19:10 (NRSV)
It is unlikely that Jesus would have had so much sympathy for sinners unless he had sinned himself.
"'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.'" John 8:7b (NRSV)
"'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.'" Mark 10:18 (NRSV)
"forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all the nations" Luke 24:47 (NRSV)
(Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.)