The Mercy Tree

C.J. Kallevig

Our world is tumultuous and scary right now. And sometimes it can be difficult to remember that God is always with you. So, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite worship songs. This is “Mercy Tree” by the group Doxology. It is a beautiful reminder of just what Jesus did for us and why he did it. 

On a hill called Calvary
There stands an endless mercy tree
Every broken weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole
Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation by the mercy tree

The song starts at the beginning of our salvation, the cross. The cross, the mercy tree, is where we go when our souls are tired and worn down. We bring our struggles and sins to the foot of the cross, where we are washed clean in his blood. It sounds weird, doesn’t it? Being washed clean in blood. But in the book of Revelation, it speaks of those who have endured greatly and have washed themselves clean in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). Jesus shed his blood for us, all for love. 

In the spot between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Beaten, battered, scarred, and scorned
Sacred head pierced by our thorns
It is finished was His cry
The perfect lamb was crucified
His sacrifice, our victory
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

This verse emphasizes that it was not easy for Jesus to die for us. He was beaten, tormented, and crucified for you and me. “His sacrifice, our victory; Our Savior chose the mercy tree”. He chose this. He chose to be a living sacrifice. He chose to die because he did not want to be without you. He knew that without this sacrifice, we could never go and be in heaven, and Jesus wanted to be with us forever. 

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
On that bright and glorious day
When heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed!
Praise Him for the mercy tree!

This is the verse where the music swells, the climax of the song begins, and where the most important lyrics are. “He’s alive and risen indeed!” This is our praise every Sunday and every time we go to Mass. Jesus is alive and living within us now! The world went dark, the very earth itself shook as Jesus breathed his last. But then, three days later, the entire universe rejoiced as Jesus rose from the dead and opened the gates of heaven. How could we not praise the One who has brought us from death to life? 

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead

The chorus, the part of the song that we sing with all our hearts. And what truth is in this chorus! We no longer need to fear death, Jesus and his love has overcome it. He has risen, and because of that fact, we have risen with him. 

One day soon, we’ll see his face
And every tear, He’ll wipe away
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise Him for the mercy tree

Someday we will go to heaven. We don’t know when, but someday we will. And when we do, what rejoicing there will be! It will be a place of perfect happiness and joy in the presence of our Lord. No more tears, no more anger or pain or hurt, just love.

I just want to leave you with the final lines of this song. Take a moment to ponder the truth that is within them and what the Lord wants to show you through this song. I pray for you all every day. The Lord bless you all, and I will see you in the Eucharist.

Death has died, love has won
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome
He has risen from the dead
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

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