Mercy & Grace

ArkOfTheCovenant-2In the Old Testament, we read in Exodus of “the mercy seat,” which was actually part of the ark of the covenant.

I counted 214 times that “mercy” is used in the Old Testament. It signifies not giving someone what they deserve – extending forgiveness instead of punishment.

A close cousin is “grace,” but this word is only used 38 times in the Old Testament. It takes the extra step over mercy, extending as a gift what is not deserved. Not just forgiveness, but more than that.

In the New Testament, we see the counts reversed. While “mercy” is only mentioned 58 times, “grace” is mentioned 128 times.

And now, instead of a mercy seat, we have a throne of grace.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16, NKJV).

“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

I just thought that was really neat – maybe you find that neat, too!



Living Sacrifice

I was reading in Leviticus the night before last, about all the different sacrifices. How many there were! Sin offerings and peace offerings, trespass offerings and grain offerings. Some required a lamb, others a goat or a bull, or a pair of turtledoves, or even some grain!

But one thing they all had in common was the requirement of perfection. A lamb without blemish. Grain without defect. All pointing to the most perfect Sacrifice of all: Jesus Christ.

But as I was reading, God brought to my mind a different connection, one that I had never considered before. Continue reading