The Mercy Tree


Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth quaked at love’s display
Three days silent in the ground
This body born for heaven’s crown –Lacey Sturm ‘Mercy Tree’

How confusing that must have been for Jesus’ followers. A life of service only to end a painful, violent death on a cross? How does that even make sense?

A few years ago someone, meaning to be sympathetic, said to me that Christmas and Easter must be so difficult to celebrate without Mikail. They didn’t ‘get it’. Yes, we miss him and it’s a little more in your face during holidays, but grief is a part of every day of our lives, not just holidays.  I’ve found that Christmas and Easter are the reason we are filled with hope. Because of Jesus’ birth and death, we have this incredible opportunity to follow a man, who died a violent death on a cross, for our sins.  Our sins were taken on Him so that we could be free from so much that enslaves us. Because of this man, we have the hope of heaven. So, when I hear comments like that made, my thoughts go to the manger and to the cross. Because of the manger and the cross, and a decision we have made to be followers of Jesus, we know that one day, when our time on earth is done, we will get to meet my best friend, Jesus and thank him for all He has done for us. 

We also know that because of what happened at the cross, we will get to see Mikail again. I'll get to see Sunny again and we will laugh and worship like never before. I'll meet family and friends that have passed on and oh what a reunion that will be.

One day soon, we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe away
No more pain or suffering
Praise Him for the mercy tree—Lacey Sturm ‘Mercy Tree’

When Mikail died unexpectedly, after overcoming so much and then dying of something so unrelated and random, I sometimes thought, How does that even make sense?—just like I imagine Jesus’ followers were filled with confusion.  The reality is, that our world is filled with pain, sickness, suffering and sin. Living in a broken world is what took Mikail’s life. That is what will take each of our lives someday, BUT One day soon, we’ll see His face and there will be no more pain or suffering. Hallelujah!

Lacy Sturm’s ‘Mercy Tree’ has become our Easter anthem and I cannot sing they lyrics without tears streaming down my face, and a really good ugly cry. Why? Because the story doesn’t end on Good Friday. Death died on that mercy tree and love has won.  The story wasn’t over then, and neither is our story over now…but guess what? We already know that we have won!



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