(Ed’s note: Happy leap year. Since the through the year Bible program doesn’t account for leap years, and since I have been editing some of my old John posts, you get to enjoy this for your devotional instead. Be blessed.)
Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.” The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?” (John 7:19-20)
Read: Proverbs 11:1 – 13:25
Relate: Moses was a murderer. Long before coming down that mountain with those stone tablets in his arms, he had killed a man. Out of fear that he might be found out, he ended up living as a fugitive in the desert for four decades. I wonder as he heard God give him those Ten Commandments how vivid the memory of his past moral failure was. Did the memory of that fateful decision come back to him when he heard God say, “Thou Shall Not Kill”? What went through his mind?Was he thinking about how unworthy he was to bring these commandments down to the people?
React: I am a murderer too. Not in a legal sense, no. I do not have to worry about any statute of limitations and have no need to try and bury any evidence to prevent experiencing an extended stay at my local penitentiary. Actually, I have much bigger things to worry about. If my punishment could be satisfied with something as easy as a twenty year prison sentence, I would be very lucky. The punishment waiting for my murder is hell. You see, I have been angry at someone without good reason. Therefore, I am a murderer. So are you. I am also an adulterer. I have looked at a woman with lust. I am a liar. I am a thief. My mom would quickly and wholeheartedly agree that I have dishonored my parents. After all, I did spend quite a few years as a teenager and they were a bit rockier than average. I have coveted. I have built idols in my heart. So have you.
Pick a commandment. I have broken it. We all have. If you are thinking to yourself, “Well, I haven’t” then you are guilty of lying even as you read this. Each and every one of us have broken each and every commandment over and over again. Every time we willfully do so, we are guilty of trying to kill Jesus. It might be easy to think, “That is crazy talk. Just because I have told a little white lie does not mean I want to kill Jesus.” That is what the Jews were thinking when they replied to Him, “You’re demon possessed. Who’s trying to kill you!” The only reason we don’t recognize what we are doing is because we have no idea how deep and how profound and how deadly our sin is. Every time we break God’s law, we are guilty of killing Jesus. We are the murderers of God.
God, forgive me for not taking my sin seriously. Forgive me for making light of Your grace and Your mercy. Help me to never take for granted the truth and the profundity of heaven and hell, sin and grace, our rebellion and Your death and resurrection. Sometimes they are concepts that I’ve thought I thought about so much that I take them flippantly. Forgive me. You died that I might not have to. I killed You in my arrogance and ignorance and sin. Forgive me. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.