The Point of Mercy

“If there is a point we experience God [as Christians], it is at the point of mercy.”

I was in small group at church tonight, and my Sunday school teacher Kevin, made this statement, and I thought, How true! (as I quickly scribbled it down on the side of my paper—fortunately I actually brought a pen that worked this week).

The judgment we face because of our sins splits us away from God.  An uncrossable chasm of sin separates us.

We can shake our fist at the chasm, or we can run away from the chasm further into our sin, or we can stand looking wistfully across.  But there is nothing we can do to experience God’s mercy, only His judgment and wrath.  Our inability to experience God’s love is the most severe of all consequences.

And then, God crosses our chasm.

Jesus comes to us.

I have to stop and reflect.  Do I really ever think about that?  I have no rope to throw over to God’s side, and I cannot walk on air.  So God comes to me.

I remember one time as a little girl going with a neighbor and her dad to the park.  I climbed this arch thing on the playground, and I was about at the top when I became paralyzed with fear.  I clung to the curved beam and rungs and cried out for help.

My friend’s father could have said it was my own fault for climbing up so high and left me there, or he could have yelled up at me to come down, but when he saw I was paralyzed, he climbed up and got me.  I remember when he was right behind me, and I knew he would catch me if I fell, and suddenly everything was all right again.

Jesus crosses the chasm to us.  And the bridge He builds that leads us back to the Father is His righteousness.  The Bible tells us:

God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

The way we experience God as Christians is truly at the point of mercy.  Jesus plunged into the chasm for us.  And the bridge He laid down was His life.

Photograph by Alan Bruce

We have two choices.

We can refuse the bridge, and we will one day experience the wrath of an all-righteous God, forever separated by the chasm of our sin.

Or we can run to the bridge, and we will immediately and for forever experience the all-loving mercy of our Lord and Master Christ Jesus.

By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. (Hebrews 10:20, NLT)

Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. (Romans 5:2, NLT)

Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (Ephesians 2:18)

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. (Ephesians 3:12, NLT)

Photograph by Alan Bruce, http://www.flickr.com/photos/qole/199706664/

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

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