Have you ever wished that there was a rewind button, that you could go back to the hour before and redo your reaction to something? To do something better or take out the part where you yelled or were upset? Maybe there was a time when the weight of your sin was so heavy and the only thing you longed for was for it to go away.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a time machine or a guilt eraser for a quick and easy fix to this inherent problem of sin that we all face. Instead, we have something that works even better, and it comes at no cost for us. What is this non-magical, yet life altering fix? The mercy of our Heavenly Father.
God’s mercy is an incredible blessing. It has incredible power: removing the sin of an entire nation in a day (Zechariah 3:9), taking our sins and hurling them as far as east from west (Psalm 103:12), throwing them into the depths of a fathomless sea (Micah 7:18-19). This power of God’s mercy comes down to us and wipes away our sins from our record, throwing them into a sea “without bottom or shore,” the depths of which are known and fathomed only by the Almighty Creator, Himself.
Our sins are remembered no more. That is a promise. But that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t see them in the first place, that he turns a blind eye to them. That’s not how God’s mercy works. This mercy comes at no price to us, but that doesn’t mean that there was not a great cost; we no longer feel the weight of our sin, but that does not mean this incomprehensible load would just cease to exist.“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”
God’s mercy is granted because of the work that Christ did for us. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
To me, this is one of the most powerful statements in the entirety of scripture. The chastisement on him and his wounds are what brought us peace, what healed our weaknesses! He bore that heavy load so that we might be freed from it. He took the beatings and the scorn and the weight of God’s wrath, so that we might be spared!
“His Mercy is More” is a song that so accurately depicts the depth of God’s mercy. The lyrics include: ”What riches of kindness He lavished on us. His blood was the payment, His life was the cost. We stood ‘neath a debt we could never afford. Our sins, they are many, His mercy is more.” We were under the weight of sin that we could never overcome, and so God, in His mercy, removed the debt and gave it to another who could bear it.
God’s mercy, His kindness, is also patient. He deals tenderly with us in our infirmities. Those he forgives are not the ones that have it all figured out, who would have no need for a Savior. He didn’t come to heal the righteous, but to bring sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:12-13). What a comfort! “He welcomes the weakest, the vilest, the poor.” That’s you. That’s me. And no matter the sin, His mercy can cover it, and indeed already has. Our sins may be great. They may be overwhelming for us, but with God, nothing is impossible, even forgiving the worst of sins (Matt. 19:26).
To me, the greatest comfort is found in the reason for God’s mercy. He had no obligation to draw us out of our sins. He had no need for us to be saved, and yet, that is exactly what he did. Why would he do that? The answer is in the very first line of this song. “What love could remember no wrongs he hath done…” God’s love. It’s the only reason we are given this mercy.
This forgiveness came at the cost of Christ’s life. His sacrifice is the proof that our God has mercy on us. His blood was the payment that washed away our sin. God gave up His son to save us. What a love!
These mercies are given to us, not of our own merit, but of God’s abundant grace. They are new every morning. They will never run out or become weak. What a faithful, amazing, loving God we serve.