Monday, 10 February 2014

What does "You shall not murder" really mean?

I've never murdered anyone.  I've never even been in a fist fight.  Am I in the clear?

There is this incredible truth about humanity.  We are really good at minimizing the Ten Commandments when they are speaking about us.  But when someone else has done something to us, oooooooh boy, we open that Law up on them and call for God's justice and wrath to come flaming down. 

The irony is that this actually breaks the Fifth Commandment.  Luther writes, "The meaning of this commandment, then, is that no one should harm another person for any evil deed, no matter how much that person deserves it."  What!  Really?  So when someone does something to me, you know, something really bad, and I get angry - I am breaking the fifth commandment?!?  Yes.  But who can control their anger like that?  Who can keep themselves from reacting to something so offensive done against them?

Only Christ. 

Jesus, the one who said, "Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also," He is the only One who can keep this Law.  And the best part is that He has already fulfilled it for you.  The Son of God was born as a man and put Himself under the Law for you.  He was treated terribly - mocked, tortured, crucified - but did MORE than turn the other cheek.  He forgave you.  He let His beatings, His weak, pathetic death become Your eternal salvation - salvation from your anger and the way you don't think about the needs of your neighbour.  Jesus let our human anger pound Him into a pulp so that the blood which seeped out from Him might cover us with His love. 

So No - you are not in the clear.  No, you shouldn't minimize your wrongdoings.  No, you shouldn't get angry.  But Christ came for you.  He died for you.  He rose for you.  And on the day of His trial, when He was wrongfully found worthy of death, a murderer was released in His place.  That murderer was you.  Free.  Forgiven.  Restored.

 



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