Few chapters of the Bible are more explicit about the amazing blessings we have in Jesus than Ephesians one and two. If you have not read them recently, you should. While there are many crazy amazing statements in these two chapters, one stands out and it has huge implications for you and I. It is Ephesians 2:4 where we read, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved.”
Now there are many things that God is rich in but this is the only time in Scripture where he tells us what one of those things is. He says that He is rich, enormously rich in mercy. He is a billionaire when it comes to mercy and he loves to give it away. In fact, notice that this mercy is not given to us because we deserve it but is a result of His great love for us. As Micah 7:18 says, God delights in showing mercy. Mercy is His specialty.
As I write this, the powerball total is 241 million dollars. How many people would love to win that lotto. In this case one or a handful of people might win all or a piece of it. With Jesus, the prize is infinitely greater and anyone who desires that prize can claim it because He delights in showing mercy. It is His specialty and he is rich in it.
And we need it. Paul writes in the passage above that we were dead in transgressions. Dead! We had a sin problem that we could not fix. We were not sick, we didn’t lack something, and we didn’t have flaws. We were Dead! And Jesus came to bring dead people to life - because of His mercy. We didn’t deserve it, could not earn it and had no way to deal with it. Dead people cannot do surgery on themselves.
And why would Jesus come to bring dead people like us to life? Because of His great love for us. His infinite, unfathomable, unexplainable love. I have often had people say to me about someone they were totally irritated or angry with, “I’m done with them.” “I’m done!”
Now consider God. He created us in His image, created a perfect world for us to live in, and not only did we rebel and go our own way but when God became a creature in the incarnation many rejected Him as well and crucified Him. Yet God, unlike us, never said “I’m done.” Rather he actually came to die for our sin, yank our dead bodies to life and pour out His mercy on us. He is never done with us. He loves us with an infinite and unexplainable love and He is rich, exceedingly rich in mercy.
We never cease to need God’s mercy. Everyday we need mercy for sins of comission and sins of omission. But as Duane Ortlund writes, “If God sent his own Son to walk through the valley of condemnation, rejection and hell, you can trust him as you walk through your own valleys on your way to heaven.” Between His love and His mercy we have become recipients of His amazing grace.
And those who have become recipients of and understand His mercy freely give it away to others. We cannot give what we have not experienced in a real way.