Murder and Anger vv. 21-26 (Part 2)
Israel’s means of atonement (“at-one-ment”) was blood sacrifice. As the penitent brought his lamb to the altar he would press his hands down on the lamb’s head conferring his guilt to the helpless animal. He would make a statement of confession, something like, “I confess my wrongdoing, let this act be for my covering.” Then the animal was slain, the blood poured out on the altar, and the priest declared abolition.
Jesus says, before you are reconciled to God you must be reconciled to your “brother” or “sister”. The anger must be dealt with. Deal with it by confessing to the object of your anger, and then confess it to God. The Lord can then forgive. The cumulative effect of unconfessed anger resulting in murder, will be avoided. One cannot love God and hate neighbour. It is out of synch with heaven’s heartbeat.
What is more, Jesus says, if you deal with your anger in God’s way, you will avoid not only murder but also the possibility of a costly lawsuit. Be practical as well as spiritual.