It’s a sunny Autumn day in Gippsland and I’ve woken to the news that two of the Bali 9 were executed this morning. News channels are rife with commentary on the issue and there are many standpoints on it: those who shout “They were silly enough to disobey rules when they knew the penalty was death” and those who shout “They were young and stupid. We all make mistakes. They should have been given a second chance.”
Then there’s the Twitter hashtag #IStandForMercy.
I really think that’s the end of the story. It’s a senseless waste of life, no matter who wasted it. Was it Chan and Sukumaran who wasted their lives when they got involved in international drug smuggling, knowing the high stakes of breaching Indonesian law on the matter? Or was it those who sanctioned the execution, despite the Australian government doing all it could to gain clemency?
Doesn’t matter. Either way, it caused pain. Either way, there were wages of sin. In this case, the wages of sin was death. Either way, we begged for mercy.
But what is mercy anyway? One thing I know is that God is the father of mercy. We can’t truly know much about mercy until we know him.
…until we know He first showed us great mercy.
…until we know that what happened today was a parable – that there is an eternal truth we can see from the mortal lives of these men. We’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all sinned. The wages of sin is death, and eternally so. In a way, we are all Chan and Sukumaran.
Imagine if the President of Indonesia chose to send his only son to the firing squad to pay their penalty, knowing that it had to be paid by someone. That would be mercy. That would be beyond comprehension.
That’s what God did for us.
I stand for mercy because I’ve been shown it. I also know that in eternity, even those who have met this sort of death can find it. Christopher Columbus once said “I am a most noteworthy sinner, but I have cried out tot he Lord for grace and mercy and they have covered me completely. I have found the sweetest consolation since I made it my whole purpose to enjoy His marvellous presence.”
This is what eternity has in store for those who seek mercy. I only hope that we can learn a lesson from these lives, from the parable they lived through. Eternity can be a beautiful thing, no matter what happened before it.
The sweetest consolation indeed.
RIP Chan and Sukumaran. I hope we all learned something so you didn’t die in vain.