Editor’s Note: We present a guest article from our good friend, Anglican. We have known him for a long time, and know you will appreciate his words of wisdom.
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
As we journey through this Holy Week, we are confronted by two seemingly irreconcilable things: our wretched sinfulness, and God’s righteousness. When God was convicting me of my sinful condition as a young man, I knew I had to get rid of my sins, if I was to have any kind of relationship with Him. But how? What did Jesus dying on a cross have to do with that? God was righteous and just. I was wicked. What was the answer?
The answer came through what Luther termed the theologia crucis, the theology of the Cross. In the Cross lies the ultimate expression of God’s justice and righteousness, as well as His mercy and grace. Sin committed against an eternal God requires an eternal payment; His righteous demands for holiness must be met. His wrath must fall on an innocent sacrifice. And fall it did on the sinless Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, fulfilling both God’s righteousness and holiness. The Cross is also the ultimate revelation of God’s mercy and grace in that His wrath fell not on us, but on the Son of God in our stead. Besides that, His resurrection is the surety that our sins were indeed removed as far as the East is from the West. By faith in Christ alone and through His atoning sacrifice, we are redeemed, cleansed, passed from darkness into light, and born anew to walk in the newness of life. The Lord Jesus took our sins and our unrighteousness; we receive His righteousness and peace. As the Psalmist wrote, mercy and truth indeed met in the Cross, righteousness and peace truly kissed, revealing the love that will not let us go.
The solution for my problem came one night at Camp Fuji, Japan, as my eyes were opened to this wonderful news. The light broke as I pondered these things. I had heard the Gospel several years before, but now I truly heard it. I realized that when Jesus was on the Cross, He had my sins on Him and that made me right with God. That was the extent of my theological knowledge at the time, but I thanked the Lord and my heart rejoiced at this good news, and I went my way in peace.
Mercy and truth met; righteousness and peace kissed. To the believer, Easter must mean more than just another holiday, for from its events come our eternal salvation and hope, in this and in the world to come. As we make our pilgrimage through Holy Week reflecting on our wretched wickedness that put Christ on the Cross, and upon His great grace and mercy revealed by the Cross, we should rejoice all the more at these words, “Hallelujah! He is risen! He is risen indeed!”