I sang Nathaniel Bassey’s beautiful song Onise Iyanu over the weekend. Early Monday morning, I quietly hummed it while preparing for work. But along the line, these words struck me:
You have shown me so much mercy,
Much more than I deserve
And I began reflecting on the theological implications of those words ‘I deserve’.
While the cry of gratitude is certainly apparent in the song, we should not overlook that it misses the core of the gospel – the mercy God shows to sinners is entirely undeserved.
After humanity’s rebellion against God (note that this was a turning from God – a rejection of their creator), He could have simply consigned them to everlasting punishment. But He didn’t. In that same garden, God announced a plan of redemption. Instead of judgement, God promised salvation. Instead of justice, He showed mercy.
Several generations later, the promise in the garden is fulfilled on a tree. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, hangs on the cross for the sins of the world. Mercy triumphant, but mercy underserved.
God receives the punishment we deserve for our sins and instead offers forgiveness, along with all the blessings of salvation.
Through the cross, we receive God’s salvation freely; not a drop is deserved.