Eighth Day of Lent

Matthew 5:21-26

I find it easy to not think about murdering someone. I just don’t do it. I haven’t ever thought “I’ll just go ahead and kill him.” I find it easy to think I am better than someone who does. I find it easy to judge a murderer. “They should be locked up for life.” “How could she do such a thing?” “There must be something wrong with him.”

I find it easy to hold anger in my heart. I do it all the time. I call people stupid, fools, ignorant, lazy. I tell them how little I think of them. I find it easy to think that it is ok to say these hurtful things. I find it easy to justify myself. “Well he was being stupid.” “It’s not like she is nice to me, why should I be nice to her?” “There is nothing wrong with feeling this way.”

But Jesus says that I am just the same as the one who murders. “If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.” “If you are even angry with someone you are subject to judgment.”

So when I call someone an idiot, when I mutter contempt under my breath, like the Arabic ‘Raca’, when I cannot stand to be around that person, I am guilty and worthy of judgment. Just as much as one who murders.

Yet Jesus died for all sinners. He died for the criminal who hung beside Him at Calvary. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). So do not lose hope. As we head toward the crucifixion and resurrection, consider yourself on the cross beside Christ. Will you hurl insults? Will you question his sovereignty? Or will you recognize that He is God, and admit that you are sinful, broken, and in need of saving? Whether you have murdered, stolen, cheated, lied, or ‘simply’ held anger in your heart, Jesus’ promise is true: You will be with Him in Paradise.

Kendra Freeland
Covenant Bay Bible Camp