In spite of the fact that Jesus fully completed the redemptive work that it took for mankind to walk in righteousness before God, many people have bought into the lie that they must somehow live up to a certain standard to be worthy of the benefits of salvation. In other words, religion has taken the place of the relationship that the Lord wants to have with His people. The empathy that He walked in has not emulated by those who claim to be His disciples.
Religion, or what you could refer to as works, seems to be what everyone turns to when it comes to encountering the Lord. Before Jesus, man was forced by the Law to bring certain sacrifices and perform certain rituals in order to be fit to worship the Lord. But the Blood of Jesus was presented as the final sacrifice that would ever be needed to enter into the presence of God. This is what Jesus was speaking of into today’s scripture reference when He said that He desires mercy, not sacrifice.
He wants you to experience how good and loving He really is through a personal encounter with Himself. Not by you having to clean yourself up, or achieve certain standards of living. His act of mercy, the shedding of His Blood, has already been applied to your life. The cleaning up has already been done. Receive His act of mercy and enter into His presence without fear or shame. He paid a very high price for your righteousness because He desires to be in a working love relationship with you. – Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff