Ok, here’s the setup! This Easter my hope was to resolve the tension between Justice and Mercy on Easter Sunday. I built it up really big in the introduction saying that I would do it through stories of dead people, vigilantes and how I found myself facing the business end of a loaded deer rifle in the hands of an angry friend. Sounds intriguing right? We’ll only if you remember to resolve the tension by using all 3 stories. Problem was, I somehow forgot to tell all 3 in one of our 3 services. Then, I decided to not to spill the beans in the last service.
So here’s the story…
While in high school I would spend my time associating with 3 or so really close friends. One of my friends didn’t date a whole lot but had recently found a girl that he really, really liked dating. In fact they were dating exclusively and he was head over heals in love – in my opinion. So one day me and a friend drove over to his house. When I entered the room I noticed that he was reading a letter and looked somewhat upset (she was breaking up with him through a letter – no such thing as personal computers or cell phones). When he saw me enter the room he quickly put the letter in his back pocket. As we were moving into another room I decided to aggravate him, so I yanked the letter out of his pocket. It was as though I had pulled a fuse on something explosive. He began to yell and started to chase me all over the house. Of course when I got near an object I could run circles around, like a table, I would start trying to read the letter. All the while, as you can imagine, his anger was starting to multiply at an exponential rate (that means really fast.) At this point I took off running for the last time only to turn the corner and find myself looking down the barrel of a loaded deer rifle in the hands of an angry friend. Being the smart person that I am, I quickly realized he was not happy about the situation. As you already know by the fact that I’m writing this, he showed me mercy and chose not to pull the trigger. I don’t know if he even had it in him to do something so heinous. But up until that day I never would have guessed he would ever pull a gun on me either. So in a moment of brilliance I handed the letter back and said I was sorry – and left quickly.
That’s how I found myself facing the business end of a loaded deer rifle in the hands of an angry friend. Kids don’t try either side of this story at home because your milage could vary.
The whole point is, there is nothing like the feeling of being shown mercy for those that have never experienced it. Through the crucifixion and resurrection God showed us mercy over justice. Through his son we were granted mercy and not what we deserved.