“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
~ 1 Timothy 1:15
The testimony of Paul is one that many people are familiar with. He was once a rabid persecutor of the church who was met by Jesus while he was on his way to hunt the church in Damascus. In a moment of radiant vision, Paul’s life is forever changed.
Paul, and so many other broken sinners just like him, is the reason why Christ came. The entrance of sin into the world placed all of creation under an intolerable weight of groaning that no person could lift. The presence of sin separated God from man and placed a death sentence on a guilty human race.
Blood is on the hands of all men. It is a guilt no human can free himself of and a terminal sickness that no man can cure. It is for that very reason that Jesus came:
“But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” ~ Matthew 9:12-13
In mercy Christ came to free trusting man from the guilt and shame of sin. He came to be the perfect sacrifice we desperately needed. He did what we could not by fulfilling the letter of the law and then He sought the will of God by bearing the full force of God’s wrath that was set to come for us.
Such a heavy burden was lifted by our merciful Savior. He paid a debt He did not owe to save a race that He deeply loved. It is, as Issac Watts says, “Love so amazing, so divine.”
In a holiday that is soaked with entitlement may we clearly see that God’s mercy to us is completely undeserved. We’ve been spared judgment and given eternal hope and life. No man deserves that sort of love…but that sort of love and mercy is why He came.
Take a few minutes and reflect on the magnitude of God’s mercy to you. Thank God for His mercy and ask that God will help to keep you ever grateful.