What is mercy? Does it mean that we get off with a warning instead of a speeding ticket? Does it mean we get the threat of jail but are then dismissed? Could it ammount to a few days behind the bars of the penitentiary until we are given an unexpectedly early release?
No, these things I would call coersion, threats and partial punishment. But, if this should masquerade as mercy, it is no doubt a weak form. Mercy exists because the offended has absorbed what should have been our punish according to their rights so that we could be restored to their good favor.
If we think we are worthy, or have , we have missed the point of it entirely! Mercy is not a reward for good behavior, but a treatment of bad behavior that reveals the incimprehensible love for the offender by the One he mistreated.
Yet, don’t get me wrong here, mercy is not something that may be offered without a cost to the One who chooses such a presentation. Mercy does not do away with the debt, but calls upon the One whose right it is to call for the payment to insteadblay down their rights and see that it is paid for by themselves. In this way, though we mortally offended God by our sin, the Bible says that He was not willing that we should perish by the penalty that sin deserved, so He reserved the entire wrath-filled execution for Himself.
He went to the Cross in the Person of Jesus to pay for our sins so that we could be proclaimed new and acceptable to Himself. Not only did He take our deadly reward from us, but delivered in its place His lively reward. He would die so that we might rise when He did to live forever as a treasure of our God.