Mercy. A word with so much light, against a backdrop of darkness. It is mercy to forgive when you have the power to condemn.
The innocent don't understand mercy. The guilty know what mercy is. The innocent ponder these things in confusion as they stand in white and spotlessness. The condemned and dirty know what it means to be washed and redeemed.
Mercy triumphs over judgment.
The accused stand waiting. Judgment may come; it is just. Condemnation of the guilty is right. It is what they deserve.
Mercy is undeserved. Mercy is shocking. It is triumphant. It says, "You are guilty, or else I would not be needed. I cannot be demanded. But I am offered. Receive me, and have life."
Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Children of darkness, when called into God's marvelous light, know how bright it is. They know how far-reaching is the glory of merciful light.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice...
Mercy is just. Mercy does not wink away blame or guilt. Mercy pays for it from itself. Mercy makes the sacrifice so that it can offer freedom.
Mercy sees the woman who says, "My daughter is severely oppressed by a demon". Mercy acts for the man who says, "Have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic. Often he falls into the fire, often into the water". You can hear the cry in those words: I am so afraid. I am so tired. O Lord, have mercy.
And he has. Depth of mercy, can there be? The Lord has mercy. Mercy is found in Christ Jesus, the Lord, the Good Man, the Son of God, the Righteous Lamb. He stood in the place of the guilty, taking on our punishment. He felt pain we deserved to feel. He endured abandonment we deserved to endure. He embraced death so that he could offer life. He took on wrath so that we might have grace. He is mercy.
Mercy is found in God, the Father of all mercies.
And you were dead in trespasses and sins...
and were by nature children of wrath...
But God, being rich in mercy.
But God. Rich in mercy.
The riches of his grace cannot be understood. The limits of his mercy cannot be found. They reach further than all our understanding. Seek his mercy, guilty ones. Seek him while he may be found. He is the Lord, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.