Jesus redeemed mankind with His own blood. 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV), “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” Thus, Jesus owns the human race, because He bought it. Ephesians 1:13-14 NKJV), “In Him you also trusted,…who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.” “He purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28. As our owner, He has the authority to forgive mankind’s sins.
Jesus also gave His Apostles the authority to forgive men’s sins. He said, “Any to whom you give forgiveness, will be made free from their sins; and any from whom you keep back forgiveness, will still be in their sins.” John 20:23 (BBE). Did giving the Apostles authority to forgive sins make them the same as God? Of course not. How could they forgive sins? The Apostles had learned how Jesus was mankind’s Redeemer. Through their preaching and letters, they explained what sin was, the terms and conditions of forgiveness of sins, and how to become reconciled to God.
In the Gospels, Jesus twice specifically forgave the sins of an individual. He forgave a paralytic man. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” Mark 2:5 (NET). Then in Luke 7:36-50, a sinful woman anointed Jesus’s feet with ointment and tears. Jesus responded by saying, “Your sins are forgiven…Your faith has saved you.” Though Jesus had not yet died, he saw in the individuals faith for him as the promised Messiah, the Redeemer.
Forgiveness of sins is only through faith in Jesus Christ. “Christ died for our sins,” 1 Corinthians 15:3. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins,” Ephesians 1:7.
Jesus denied equality with God. He said, “The Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). Jesus was the perfect, human representative of God. Jesus’s judgments, doctrines, and words were all from his Father. Jesus, as a separate, distinct being, received His Father’s wisdom and guidance. Jesus said:
John 5:30, “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
John 7:16, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”
John 14:24, “…the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me…” Though he forgave sins, this did not make him God. He spoke as the Messiah Redeemer through whom forgiveness would come.