“Set the mercy seat on top of the ark and put the testimony that I will give you into the ark. I will meet with you there above the mercy seat, between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the testimony; I will speak with you from there about all that I command you regarding the Israelites.” Exodus 25: 21-22 (HCSB)
Grace and Mercy are two independent concepts, yet they work closely together.
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve. It has been described through the acrostic: G.R.A.C.E.: God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense
Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Think of this acrostic: M.E.R.C.Y.: My Extensive Righteousness Covers You
In the Ark, God’s mercy is positioned on top. It is the arbitrator between His covenant and His law. In that sense, the ark, with its covering & contents, can be viewed as a picture of the Trinity.
The covenant represents Grace, God’s promise: Jesus. The Law represents Justice, His standard revealed: Spirit. Mercy represents the Wisdom of weighing the two, pronouncing judgment: God.
Without mercy, Israel would always be caught in a divine “Catch-22”. Could they rest in God’s promise to their forefathers, or did they have to live up to His perfect standard? God’s mercy provides the balance, His response. Sometimes, His mercy brings about hardship to teach us. Other times, mercy keeps us from the full consequences to encourage us. It is solely His wise judgment that determines His course. That is mercy.
The good news is that Messiah “…is able to protect you from stumbling and make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy.” Jude 1:24 (HCSB)
When Jesus paid our sin debt, it satisfied God’s standard for us. Messiah not only cleared our debt, but He also imputed (deposited) righteousness into our accounts.
When the Lord looks upon a believer in Jesus, He sees only His covenant promise and His law fulfilled. His response to us will be the same as that to His Son, “Well done!”
For those outside Messiah’s covering, the Bible says He reserves the response, “Turn away; I never knew you.”
Who would reject so great a salvation? (Hebrews 2:3)
Elevating your Faith with daily Bible reading and devotionals written by Steve Wiggins.
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