Today's Reading: Matthew 5:17-26
"But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The hardest thing to get about the Ten Commandments is that they all apply to everyone. Everyone has broken all of them. You are a murderer. How's that? You haven't killed anyone? Oh, really? You haven't been angry at someone? Your brother or sister or parents or friends? Called them names. Cussed at them. Wished they were dead. Told them they're stupid. Wanted to never speak with them again. Jesus says when you get angry like that, you're a murderer even if you didn't pull a trigger.
That's our problem with the Law of God. It always shows that we're worse than we think we are. It always exposes, deep down, inside and out, the fact that we're sinners who deserve nothing but punishment. Oh, you had a good reason to be angry? So does the Lord! And if He treated you in His anger the way you want to treat others when you're mad at them, you'd be doomed.
But here's what Jesus teaches us. God is not angry at you. He's angry at His Son. Why? What did Jesus do? He did what you did. You're not a murderer. Jesus is! After all, didn't He take the place of a murderer when they sent Him to the cross? He took your place there, too--murderer and every other kind of sinner that you are.
According to the Law, the Fifth Commandment, you are a murderer. According to Jesus, you are a child of God because He took your murdering and made it His own and washed away all your sins when you were baptized. The Law says you're a murderer. Jesus says, "No, you're not! I will be the murderer. Condemn Me." So He dies for your sin and rises again. No more murdering for you. Jesus has kept the Law for you and paid the price for your breaking it. Every dotted "i" and crossed "t" of the Law has been taken care of for you by Him. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord of all power and might, the Author and Giver of all good things, graft into our hearts the love of Your name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Your great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 6)