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Communion Meditations (2014)

Turn the Other Cheek

Originally scheduled for March 2

It is one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

(Matthew 5:38-41 NIV)

 

You know, this sounds rather difficult – if you haven’t tried it.  If you have tried it, you KNOW it’s difficult.  But our Lord appended no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” – this is not an extra credit exercise, it’s part of the required course.

So why would a Christian behave like this?

·         You are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ – and it is his command.  It is a question of whether or not you really consider him Lord.

·         You are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ – and therefore you are an imitator of Jesus Christ.  You may not be able to walk on water, heal the sick, give sight to the blind – but you can imitate your Lord in this.

·         You are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ – and therefore you are His witness before the world.  To see Christ, the world looks at us.  What should they see?  Vengeance – or love?

Communion is the reminder of the greatest example of loving your enemies – the Cross.  We must remember that Christ did not die to atone for the sins of the “good people” (whoever those might be) but for all of us.  He did not die with a snarl, but with peace and love:  “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” 

Communion reminds us of the reality of that sacrifice.  In the cup we perceive his blood shed for us; in the bread we perceive his body, broken for us.  “Love your enemies” is not “just theology.”  Indeed, you may be thinking that this must be some complex bit of doctrine that you just can’t understand.  Just remember:  when you can’t understand the doctrine you can still follow the example.  As you partake, then, examine yourself and see if you find a true disciple of Christ.

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