There’s a reason why detective and cop shows, books, and movies are so endlessly popular. The never-fail plot line is murder, as we all have a nervous fascination with other people dying violently. Perhaps it’s related to our own fear of death. You know, human life is fragile. It doesn’t take all that much to take a life.
God knew that. He intentionally made human beings smaller and more physically vulnerable than many species in the animal kingdom. For protection he surrounded us not with a hard exoskeleton but with his Word and warning: “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Every society in human history, everywhere on the earth’s surface, has known the deadly peril of toleration of murder and has outlawed it
Murder not only cheats people out of years and even decades of the joys of life on earth. It may also cut short someone’s opportunity to come to know and believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved (i.e., one’s time of grace). You and I can respect and keep this commandment by doing what we can to help people live their earthly lives to the fullest.
The Lord Jesus not only kept this commandment perfectly for us as our divine substitute, refusing to do any bodily harm to those who were doing bodily harm to him, but he also taught his followers: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44,45).
Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.
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