So begins the Doctor’s adventure in the Town called Mercy (Series 7/3). This episode has more ‘Western’ symbols and Biblical references than you could poke a stick at. In this town, the Doctor finds many anachronisms (things out of time sequence), aggressive stares and even a horse called Susan – enough oddities to make him think someone has been peeking at his Christmas list! But as soon as he declares himself an “alien Doctor” they measure him up for a coffin and push him over the town’s line of protection. This beckons the response of one Cyborg gunslinger, bent on executing justice.
But it is not this Doctor he wants. There is another alien physician (who has created monsters and caused much destruction) hiding within the refuge of the Town called Mercy. And this is the dilemma: should the Doctor expose him, push him over the line to answer for his crimes and meet his death, or is there another way? Should the Doctor allow justice to be done, or show mercy and defend him? This leads to a huge debate with Amy,about showing mercy to others, which is the Doctor’s usual practice. Have too many people suffered because of the Doctor’s mercy to criminal elements across all time and space? Should the Doctor be unmerciful in this instance?
Without giving the outcome away I can’t help but think of the mercy we rest on as followers of Jesus. He is the one who achieves justice, appeasing God’s wrath completely against sinful people! Our crimes are fully paid for and yet only one man, one innocent Son of Man, suffers so that the guilty can go free….free indeed! The mercy of God is at His own expense. He pushes his only Son Jesus over the line, outside the city limits, to meet his death on a cruel Roman cross.
As we come to that time of year once again, when chocolate bunnies and rabbits gather around (yet crowd out) the glory of the Cross, I hope you will find the opportunity to tell someone of this most amazing story of mercy and justice, which meet together in Jesus Christ. The Doctor will always struggle to get this balance right, since he is but a reflection of the one true Time Lord.