Study this picture. You are looking at mercy. The One you just nailed to a cross breaks your guilt fall. The hands you crushed reach out to hold you.
Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a Savior.
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.
1 I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven.
2 We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy, for we have had our fill of contempt.
4 We have had more than our fill of the scoffing of the proud and the contempt of the arrogant.
3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)
People of God seek to keep their eyes on God (v.1). They know where their help comes from. It is so easy to look to our spouses, our counselors, our pastors or to our friends to find help. Unfortunately, the help we need is greater than anything these important people can provide.
The need of these travelers to Jerusalem is our greatest need as well. They needed MERCY.
If someone shows you mercy then they don't give you what you deserve. If you get pulled over for doing 85 in a 60 zone and the cop let's you go then you have experienced mercy. You are guilty but you do not get what you deserve.
We are guilty before a holy God. We all sin. We all fall short of His glory. These poor travelers were abused verbally as they walked to Jerusalem. They were tired of the ridicule. My kids feel like that at school some days. Kids can be so cruel and treat each other with contempt (v.3). Adults can too.
You can almost hear them saying. "We've traveled many miles to meet with you, Lord. We have been ridiculed and mocked for following you. Now Lord, when you show up please come in mercy and not judgment. We deserve judgment but we are asking for mercy. We do not want what we deserve."
We deserve judgment. We have enough sin piled up as individuals and as a Church that God could take us out right now and not be at fault. This is true, but ...
We get mercy. Even though we were dead to God, in Christ we experience the mercy of God. We do not deserve this ... God does it because of His great love for us. We don't have to wonder if He will show mercy to us, He already has by having Jesus die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin.
We know more of God and have more assurance than those travelers ever did. Their need for mercy led them to "keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal". Now that we have received mercy will we give God less than this?
Have you experienced the mercy of God? Have you been forgiven of your sins? You can know for certain what people in the Old Testament could only hope to have. Confess your sin and need to God. Cry out to Him for forgiveness. Believe in your heart that God made Jesus pay your penalty and you will be saved.
Christian, should our assurance and guaranteed mercy in Christ lead us to a place of laziness in our pursuit of the Lord? Shouldn't it lead to greater faithfulness? Gratitude should drive our obedience, never guilt. It is rooted in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.