“No man can make me hate him” – words, I believe, spoken by Martin Luther King Snr, which for me sum up the mystery and the victory of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection. In Jesus, evil spent itself in a furious attempt to get Him to hate – that is, to make its victim like itself. That’s how evil wins – when it ‘converts’ its victims to hate in their turn. Mercy is the greatest antidote to evil – to turn the other cheek is not easy, but it sure disconcerts the perpetrators…
Mercy is God’s love reapplied,
Poured out on us by Him who died.
God loved us first and then we sinned.
Salvation, by mercy, is underpinned.
Mercy seeks to rehabilitate,
To harvest love in place of hate.
A new beginning, another start;
Gladly, from His prodigious heart.
Mercy wants to let off scot-free,
While justice, coldly, demands its fee.
Grace, freely given, and given again,
And again and again, to conquer sin.
How can we who by mercy breathe,
Who depend on Him for every need,
Refuse to pardon our fellow men,
Whose faults are trite in comparison?
But I’ve been hurt, I hear you say,
And swear by God I’ll make them pay.
However great your wounds may be,
His wounds cry ‘Forgive!’ eternally.
“No man can make me hate him!”.
Thus the victory of love over sin;
That at the point of evil’s greatest hour,
Love’s cross revealed almighty power.