March 1: Mercy at the Cross

Read Luke 23:33-43 

How would you define mercy? The dictionary defines mercy as, “compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm”. When was the last time you received mercy? What does it mean to you when someone decides to show you mercy even though you deserve justice (getting what you do deserve)?

On our journey to the empty tomb, we find ourselves at the cross. Luke, among other gospel writers, says that Jesus’ cross stood between the crosses of two criminals. As Jesus neared His last breath, one of the them called out and challenged Jesus. If He were indeed who He said He was, this man dared Him, He should rescue them. “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” (Lk. 23:39). However, the other criminal tells his companion that while they were experiencing justice for their crimes, Jesus was experiencing this death after doing nothing wrong.

Because of sin, you and I have an awful, impossible debt to pay. It’s death. Because of sin, we deserve to die, both physically and spiritually. Jesus knew we couldn’t pay that debt ourselves. So He became the perfect sacrifice and paid the debt we could not pay. Jesus showed us mercy by dying on the cross in our place.

How often do you lose sight of the mercy Christ has shown you? How does it feel to know that Jesus went through the horrendous torture of being crucified on your behalf? Like the second criminal said, Jesus did nothing wrong and still He was there suffering.

This truth should lay heavy on our hearts. How far would you go to show someone mercy? You may have every right to execute justice towards them, but instead you chose to forgive and give them something they could never repay.

Is there someone in your life to whom you can extend mercy today? Jesus showed us incredible mercy. Why can’t we in turn show it to others?


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