‘…a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God...’ Hebrews 2.17
This phrase describes Jesus, so for a few days we are going to unpack what it says about him - beginning with the word 'merciful'.
Our understanding of mercy tends to be linked to kind actions; either the things we do for others or their kindness to us. However there is no guarantee that people will be merciful towards us - they may or they may not! Yet the mercy of Jesus is quite different.
There can be no question about whether or not Jesus will show mercy because his suffering and death demonstrate the full nature and extent of his love for us. He freely chose to lay down his life for his sheep (John 10.11). So it follows that if Jesus has already done this, then surely there is no longer any need to wonder how committed he is to us? It’s not a matter of us feeling anxious in case we don’t deserve his mercy today, since Jesus died for us before we had any opportunity to demonstrate whether we deserved it or not.
As you go through this day, there may well be occasions when you want to call out for mercy, either for yourself or for others. Do so without wondering whether you deserve it - you probably don't! Yet there is no way that the tap of Jesus’ mercy can be turned off, any more than the flow of love that streams from the cross can be stopped. So go ahead and call out for mercy with confidence!
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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