SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 2:4-5 (NLT)
But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so very much, that even while we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God's special favor that you have been saved!)
STORY shared by Luis Palau:
A mother once approached Napoleon seeking a pardon for her son. The emperor replied that the young man had committed a certain offense twice and justice demanded death.
"But I don't ask for justice," the mother explained. "I plead for mercy."
"But your son does not deserve mercy," Napoleon replied.
"Sir," the woman cried, "it would not be mercy if he deserved it, and mercy is all I ask for."
"Well, then," the emperor said, "I will have mercy." And he spared the woman's son.
Rich in mercy and he gave us life – two beautiful testimonies to the power of Easter and to the reality of our situation. It is only by God’s special favor … less we begin to boast that somehow we were able to save ourselves.
Easter is God’s singular event of salvation and we are Easter people. Mercy has been given. How has it been received by us? I do wonder what the woman’s son in the Napoleon story did with his forgiven life as a reaction to the mercy shown to him. Neither he nor we deserve the mercy given.
We have much to celebrate. We have much for which to be thankful. Undeserved love came our way. Mercy was granted. God drew a circle and took us in.
Depth of mercy! Can there be mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God his wrath forbear, me, the chief of sinners, spare?
I have long withstood his grace, long provoked him to his face,
would not hearken to his calls, grieved him by a thousand falls.
I my Master have denied, I afresh have crucified,
oft profaned his hallowed name, put him to an open shame.
There for me the Savior stands, shows his wounds and spreads his hands,
God is love! I know, I feel; Jesus weeps and loves me still.
Now incline me to repent, let me now my sins lament,
now my foul revolt deplore, weep, believe, and sin no more.
For your mercy we give you thanks. For undeserved love we are grateful. May our life today bear testimony to just how thankful we truly are.