"As she stood looking at it, wondering why there was a lamp-post in the middle of a wood and wondering what to do next, she heard a pitter patter of feet coming toward her..." (C S Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Justice and Mercy

I love this quote by Christmas Evans (1766-1838). He personifies the justice and mercy of God and how they must come together in the cross:

"An embassy of angels, commissioned from Heaven to some other world, paused at the sight; and Heaven forgave that pause. They saw Mercy standing by the gate, and they cried, ‘Mercy, canst thou not enter? Canst thou look upon that world and not pity? Canst thou pity and not relieve?’ And Mercy, in tears, replied, ‘I can see, and I can pity, but I cannot relieve.’ ‘Why dost thou not enter?’ inquired the heavenly host. ‘Oh,’ said Mercy, ‘Law has barred the gate against me, and I must not, and I cannot unbar it.’ And Law stood there watching the gate, and the angels asked of him, ‘Why wilt thou not suffer Mercy to enter?’ And he said, ‘No one can enter here and live;’ and the thunder of his voice outspoke the wailings within. Then again I heard Mercy cry, ‘Is there no entrance for me into this field of death? may I not visit these caverns of the grave; and seek, if it may be, to raise some at least of these children of destruction, and bring them to the light of day? Open, Justice, Open! drive back these iron bolts, and let me in, that I may proclaim the jubilee of redemption to the children of the dust!’ And then I heard Justice reply, ‘Mercy! surely thou lovest Justice too well to wish to burst these gates by force of arm, and thus to obtain entrance by lawless violence. I cannot open the door: I am not angry with these unhappy, I have no delight in their death, or in hearing their cries, as they lie upon the burning hearth of the great fire, kindled by the wrath of God, in the land that is lower than the grave. But without shedding of blood there is no remission.’

Thank God for the cross which satisfies God's justice and provides us the mercy of salvation! As we approach Good Friday and Easter, may we be reminded of God's love for sinners like us.

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