Grace and Mercy available here and now

Grace and Mercy available here and now

To bestow on us his grace and mercy and to fulfill his principal of holiness, as he himself is holy (al-Qudus), God sent Jesus to redeem us and also sent him as his grace and mercy to the world. Through believing in Jesus and what he has done for us, we are accepted by God. When we obey, we no longer have to fear the wrath of God. This is the assurance that is not placed in human confidence or in our ‘greatness’ but rather in the crucified and risen Jesus who has redeemed us. God sent Jesus not only to be an honest judge but also to be merciful. This is why the Bible states, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Elsewhere, it is stated:

[W]hen the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:4-7).

While the Qur’an and traditions talk about grace and mercy of God in the ‘future’ and in terms like ‘may be’, the Bible talks about it now and its full fulfillment in the hereafter. That is the reason the Bible encourages us in this very life to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace” (Hebrews 4:16).

Unlike the Qur’an, the Bible declares that God wants his people to share in his holiness and thus expects them to be holy. He himself is pure and completely holy (Leviticus 11:44; 20:26). [Evil does not stand a chance against him, nor can even be in his presence (Revelation 21:6)]

God, our Creator, desires a relationship with us. For that purpose he created us. Because of disobedience, we lost our closeness to him. To reconcile us with him again, he fulfilled not only his justice but his mercy too when he sent Jesus to die for us. It is not that God loves us because Jesus died for us. It is because God loved us so much (John 3:14-21) that he gave Jesus to die for us, in order to fulfill his justice and mercy and to bestow his grace upon us.

To Muslims, this plan of vicarious atonement and redemption from God seems very strange. In Islam, one is expected to bear his or her own burden. Although the Qur’an mentions the Law of Moses, it never states how God commanded Moses and the Israelites to give sin offerings (Exodus 29:10-14, 35-37; Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 4:1-35; 5:1-13; Numbers 6:9-17; 15:22-29) and guilt offerings (Leviticus 5:14-19; 7:1-10; 14:1-24) as well as celebrate an annual Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:1-34) in which animal sacrifices were offered on behalf of the people.

According to the Bible, all these sacrifices were a shadow of the greatest sacrifice: the sacrifice God himself provided for all people once and for all. Thus we see Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible sent by God as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). He is mentioned as ‘the holy one’ and as 'Immanuel’ (meaning: God with us) in the Bible (Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:23). This fulfills prophecies concerning him, recorded in Isaiah 7:14 and Isaiah 9:6. The wonderful promise made with Adam, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets came to pass in the life of Jesus!

The atonement of those who came before Jesus was given on the basis of Jesus’s redemption in the future.  Today in our case, we look back in the past to the sacrifice that Jesus made once and for all, accepting God’s providence. How do we get aboard? We repent of our sins, trust in Jesus as our Savior, and follow him as our Lord (Master).

The Qur’an talks about Jesus being the word, the spirit, the prophet, the servant, the blessed, the sign, the mercy for people, the healer, the miracle worker, and the bringer of the gospel (which literally means: the good news)[13] but misses to tell what this gospel is all about. Here is a glimpse:

[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith (Romans 3:23-25).



[13] In the Greek New Testament, gospel is the translation of the Greek noun euangelion (occurring 76 times) “good news,” and the verb euangelizo (occurring 54 times), meaning “to bring or announce good news.” Both words are derived from the noun angelos, “messenger.” In classical Greek, an euangelos was one who brought a message of victory or other political or personal news that caused joy. In addition, euangelizomai (the middle voice form of the verb) meant “to speak as a messenger of gladness, to proclaim good news.” Further, the noun euangelion became a technical term for the message of victory, though it was also used for a political or private message that brought joy (