ROMANS 3:25-26: “God showed that Christ is the throne of mercy where God’s approval is given through faith in Christ’s blood. In his patience God waited to deal with sins committed in the past. He waited so that he could display his approval at the present time. This shows that he is a God of justice, a God who approves of people who believe in Jesus.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: Jesus Christ is God’s throne of mercy! When I read these verses this phrase calls me to pause and reflect upon the great gift and sacrifice the Father has given to us, and that the Son has done for us. We were all lost and destined for judgment, yet the Lord in His love gave us a place for mercy. In the Old Testament we have a picture of this in the Ark of the Covenant. It was on this Ark that Moses was instructed to build the “Mercy Seat”. It was upon this seat that the blood of the covenant was poured out once a year as a temporary atonement until the one and final sacrifice. When Jesus poured out His blood, through His substitutionary death on the cross for our sins, He made the final payment for our sin. Jesus Christ no longer needs to make a yearly sacrifice, as His one and final sacrifice paid the debt in full!
Jesus Christ has become God’s “Mercy Seat” for all those who will believe.
What does this mean practically for each of us? Is there anything that can help us to understand the enormity of this truth? One thing that comes to mind is the real estate market in California. It is one of the most disproportionate markets in the United States. The price of homes has skyrocketed so high, that in order to allow average wage earners a chance to buy a home they have begun what is called – “interest only” home loans. In effect you are not really ever purchasing the home, you are simply paying the interest on it each year. There is no principle reduction.
The home is never paid off. You make payments, but you never hold the title free and clear.
This was our existence without Jesus Christ. We were simply existing. We never had the approval of God. In the Old Testament the High Priest would pour out the blood of the Atonement upon the Mercy Seat once a year. It would simply, and temporarily, cover the sins of Israel – but never remove them. It was like paying an interest only loan. The payments had to be made over and over again. These sacrifices could never take away sin. And then Jesus came to live a sinless life. He alone became the spotless lamb of God. He offered Himself in our place and bore the full penalty of our sin. With His own blood he paid the full price and opened the door to forgiveness and salvation by faith in His sacrifice.
Rising from the dead Jesus proclaimed our mortgage to sin fully paid. We were declared “free and clear” by His grace, through faith in His death and resurrection!
In this way both God’s justice and God’s mercy are completely satisfied. Just as in an interest only loan, both the interest and the principle have to be paid in full. We could never do both. Our sin tarnished even our best efforts and placed us under the judgment of God. So God fulfilled His judgement against sin, and His mercy toward mankind, through His “Mercy Seat” – Jesus Christ our Lord! What a wonderful gift! What a loving God! The promise is now open to all by – grace through faith – alone!
Religion, good works, and anything else we possess is empty currency, tarnished goods. They are simply endless “interest only” payments that can never set us free!
There is only one true sacrifice, Jesus Christ, the spotless, perfect lamb of God – the “Mercy Seat”. The veil of the Temple has been torn in two. The way to the Holy of Holies and God’s “Mercy Seat” is no longer available only to the High Priest – it is open to all who call upon the name of the Lord. Through Jesus Christ we have full and complete access to God the Father. Through Jesus Christ, fully cleansed, fully forgiven, we have been given the guarantee of our inheritance, the assurance of eternal life – the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful gift! What a wonderful privilege!
What an awesome message of hope to share with a world who is bound paying on an interest only loan that will never be paid off – except through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, grant me the grace and the opportunity to share this awesome truth with as many people as I possibly can. I pray that all who hear the Good News of Jesus Christ will open their hearts and believe so that they too can come to know the “Mercy Seat” of God!
In Jesus Christ!