Murder in the Cathedral

Most of us do not commit murder. But we allow anger and resentment to fester in our hearts. Our spite and bitterness then find expression in words of contempt and curse. Jesus knew the source of murder, and exposed the sin in all of us. Our hearts, which are supposed to welcome the Lord as King and Savior, harbor instead the hatred that we feel towards those who offend us. Rather than being the scene of worship and adoration, our inner being plays host to malice and malignant intent. In other words, though murder does not take place in the marketplace outside, it occurs in the sanctuary of our souls. Jesus not only traces the trail of homicide into the recesses of our mind. He also follows the steps of the convicted criminal to the courtroom and then to the courtyard, where the firing squad stands ready to execute the guilty. They cock and aim their rifles, awaiting the command to fire. But wait! A message from the King! “Don’t shoot! My Son will take the place of the convicted killer.” The crowd which had gathered for the execution parts as the Prince strides forward to the stake. The soldiers cannot believe their eyes. Yet they must obey this order from the King. A few of the Prince’s companions carry away the body with sobs of grief. The quiet multitude return home in disbelief. What kind of King would allow His own Son to die so that a wicked murderer could go free? What would move a Prince to forsake the royal palace for a punishment He did not deserve?