Tuesday, July 5, 2016

“Justice? Mercy!”

"Justice?  Mercy!"

     Just before entering the courtroom for his sentencing hearing, the gangster's lawyer told the guilty man, "I'll plead to the judge for justice, Bugs."  The gangster did a mortified double take and responded, "Oh no, Mr. Attorney, whatever you do, don't do that!  No, please, beg for mercy!"

    "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth" (Jeremiah 23:5).

    We long for a day when the execution of Divine justice will establish true righteousness in the earth.  Were it not for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ, however, such a hope would actually constitute a horrific prospect far more fearful than the gangster's concern.  Divine justice would condemn the entire human race to eternal judgment because "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  Despite the entitlement mentality that plagues modern times with darkness and deception, God's standards have not changed - "The soul that sinneth it shall die… the wages of sin is death" (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23).  In and of ourselves, the human race is a willfully rebellious family that wrongly perceives itself to deserve better when the truth of the matter is that we deserve hotter.  

   God loves us nevertheless and made a way for mercy to save us from our willful rebellion.  "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:5).  The Lord Jesus Christ provides our pardon from deserved judgment, having been judged for us on the cross of Calvary.  "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).  Thus, we need not "beg for mercy" as the gangster pleaded.  No, we rather receive mercy by faith in the certain promise of God that all who come by the way of the cross receive the forgiveness provided by the Blood shed upon it.  Yes, the same Savior who will one day rule in perfect righteousness presently redeems in mercy.  Let us be grateful that the Lord Jesus who "ever liveth to make intercession for us" pleads to the Father for pardon rather than justice (Hebrews 7:25).

"Mercy rejoiceth against judgment."
(James 2:13)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law."
 (Psalm 119:34).


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