Have you ever experienced mercy? You know what you deserve - but for some reason the debt is cancelled, the speeding ticket is just a warning and all the pain you would have known is lifted. It’s a beautiful thing.
In the words of a very wise little boy I know “mercy is when you don’t get somethin’ you’re supposed to get.” He would know. Not long ago, there was an infraction of the family law in our home and disciplinary action was about to be taken. This little boy appealed to the judge, otherwise known as Daddy, and asked for mercy. Daddy paused and saw the opportunity to share a God moment with our son. We all make mistakes, sometimes we make really big mistakes and we should be punished, but we have a God who delights to show mercy, the Bible says he is rich in mercy, he has lots of it. So instead of getting what we deserve – we get his love and forgiveness – all we have to do is ask.
There is this verse in James chapter 2 that says “Mercy triumphs over judgment”. That phrase is so clearly illustrated in the Easter story: God’s mercy triumphing over our judgment. Undoubtedly, we deserve the worst, we deserve to live a life where our sin separates us from God but thankfully we don’t get what we deserve. We stand before the judge – our Father God and we know we can’t plead innocent. The truth is that we are guilty. We could plead guilty, but then what? We could never pay the price or carry the burden of our sin. But because of the cross, because Jesus was the Lamb of God, we can plead the blood. We throw ourselves on the mercy of our God, who in his unfailing love has made a way for us to be restored.
Jesus lived a life of tenderness toward the broken, discarded people in his world. He embraced those that others wouldn’t even be seen with. That is why he came – for the brokenhearted, the captive, the blind, and the bruised. And that is exactly how we see him in the context of Easter, always true to his character. Jesus the King of Kings in his death and resurrection, gloriously rich in mercy. Even while suffering and dying we see the tenderness of our Savior toward his mother, making sure that she would be provided for after he left the Earth. One of the criminals hanging next to Jesus knew that he was getting what his deeds deserved, still when he asked Jesus “remember me” Jesus responded so tenderly “Don't worry, I will. Today you will join me in paradise” Jesus bathed Peter in mercy after he acted out in anger, betrayal and disbelief. Mercy triumphs over judgment, over guilt, over shame. Mercy says I know you are broken, but I can heal you. I know things are messy – I came to make it right. You may be disgraced but you still have a purpose. Easter demonstrates God’s tenderness to those who have been disgraced, disappointed, disconnected, distressed and discouraged....if you can identify with any one of those....this story is for you!
Shoreline Service Times:
North Campus - Where You There?
Saturday April 11 6pm
Sunday April 12 8,10,12
Sunday April 12 9:30am