Did Jesus Come to Save the Victim and the Offender?

I lost my friend Mercy* yesterday.  He was found lying dead in his jail cell.  I guess I picked the wrong day to grieve because as it flashed on the news the lady sitting near me said, "At least we don't have to feed him."  I'm not shocked at her response, I actually expect to hear a lot worse over the next couple of days.

You see Mercy* was a convicted murderer and in jail facing new charges.  He was accused of committing a heinous crime...however, when I found out, I wept in my office like I was weeping for my own brother.  I didn't want to see him leave earth that way.  I prayed that God would transform his life and use him within the walls of the prison.  I had to come to the realization that my thoughts are not God's thoughts and my ways are not His ways.  And, the truth be told, I would rather this way, than a needle in his arm.

You see, I was there when Mercy* was seeking God.  I listened when He questioned whether God could forgive a person like Him.  I remember when He went down in the water in Jesus' name.  I was there when He had an encounter with the Lord.

I was also there in the dark moments...when we went down memory lane.  I heard the stories from childhood.  I saw the hurt.  I felt the pain.  I witnessed the brokedness.

My friend Mercy made some poor choices.  He hurt a lot of people.  I wish I could take an eraser and erase his sins;  however, I remembered there is someone who already did that.  His name is Jesus.  I am thankful for a Savior who is powerful enough to heal the broken hearts of the victim's family and loving enough to die on the cross for the offender.

I am consoled on this grieving day, that God came not for the righteous, but to lead sinners to repentance.  A God who can reach as high as the corporate CEO, down to the red light districts of our towns.

You see, my heart is heavy today.  I wish things would have turned out differently.  But, I am consoled by the hope that one day I will see him in paradise.  I am hopeful that one day we will worship together at the throne.  To my friend Mercy*, I love you and this song is for you.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9LltDdi7vk

*Name has been changed to protect the identity


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