It has been said by some that heaven is filled with sinners and hell is filled with the perfect and the righteous. I remember when I underwent my “adult” conversion. One night I confessed my sins to God. It was late at night, and I was on my knees and my face on the floor while my tears soaked the carpet. The last time I cried so much I was a little boy.
As a younger man I was pretty despicable. Many have said to me since, “You weren’t so bad”. Well, they didn’t know me too well. Or they couldn’t see the inside of my heart. My inner life was rotten and selfish. But that night God the Father guided me ever so tenderly through repentance.
Jesus was not always merciful. Don’t believe me? Try on some of these lines from Matthew 23:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!…you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?
Jesus went among the people he came to save and they came to him. The sinners, the dirty, the weak, the brokenhearted… to these his mercy was infinite.
Listen. If you are perfect and righteous I can do nothing for you. It isn’t about following a set of rules. But if you are imperfect and wounded then I have come for you. If you have found no other resting place for that deep dark place inside you, then you will find rest in me. Show me your wounds that I might heal them with mine.
Let Him into your heart. Let Him heal you. There is no greater love.