The image of Jesus hanging on the cross dying for our sins, after being beaten, humiliated and tortured by the Roman authorities, is indeed a picture of how much God loves us. But it is also a picture of how much God hates our sin and how it is impossible for us to be reconciled to God by our own righteousness (see Romans 3:10-12) and how only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ (see John 14:6 and Acts 4:12) can we be redeemed from the bondage of sin and the debt our sin has created.
In fact, mercy cannot exist without wrath. If God’s wrath and eventual judgment for our sin was not hanging over us, there would have been no need for Jesus to sacrifice Himself as a one-time atonement for all of the sins of man. In fact Jesus warned many times in His ministry about the eternal damnation of Hell – see Matthew 10:28, Mark 9:43-44, Matthew 25:44-46 and Luke 16:19-31.
Jesus was not the effeminate wimp that America has fabricated, soft and weak. He was a man who violently drove the money changers out of the temple with a whip! He was loving and compassionate, to be sure – see the example of how gentle He was with the woman who washed His feet with her tears in Luke 7:36-50. But we should never forget that he confronted and condemned those who needed to be confronted and condemned.
The entire point of God being merciful is that we deserve to be punished by a holy God for our sins, but He takes pity on us. Not only does He have mercy on us, but He sends His Son to be punished in our place. Why? Because we richly deserve eternal damnation in Hell fire for our crimes against Him. We must never lose sight of our sin.