Mercy, Not Sacrifice [Part 2]

Are you ready for some good news?

When you’re in Christ, you’re sin is gone. God won’t ever hold it against you.

Today’s Text: “Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”” (Matthew 12:5–8, ESV)

One day at his grandparents’ house, Johnny took his new slingshot out into the woods. Quickly tiring of shooting at trees and tin cans, Johnny fired a stone at his grandmother’s pet duck and killed it. He buried the duck to hide the evidence, and then he took his guilt-ridden conscience into the house for supper.

Johnny didn’t realize that his sister, Sally, had seen the entire incident. At the end of supper Grandmother said, “Sally, let’s wash the dishes.” Sally replied, “Johnny wants to wash the dishes tonight.” Johnny looked at her with surprise, as she leaned over and whispered, “I saw the duck.”

Johnny dutifully washed the dishes.

The next morning, Grandmother said, “Sally, it is time for you to make your bed.” And Sally said, “Johnny wants to make my bed today!” Johnny looked at her, and Sally whispered, “Remember the duck!” Johnny made her bed.

This went on for days, until finally Johnny couldn’t take it anymore. “I killed the duck!” he admitted to his grandmother. “I know,” she replied. “I saw you. I was wondering how long you were going to let Sally hold it over your head!”

If you have even the slightest thought that you are not welcomed into the presence of God because of the failures of your life, the devil will follow you around and say, “Remember the duck.”

Here is what the gospel offers, plain and simple: Believe that Jesus is who He said He is. He did what He said He would do. The sacrifice that was needed to make up for all the failures in your life has happened. God asks nothing more but that you believe it and yield your whole life to Him. You can come to the throne of grace boldly, with a clean conscience. God, in Christ, remembers your sin no more. And that’s the gospel!

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