Anger is such a powerful emotion. But nothing drives this emotion more than paying someone back for a wrong they committed against you. Though most of us never act out on this, how many have thought and even plotted revenge in our minds?
Or am I the only person who has ever done this?
There was a powerful story that came out of 9-11 when New York’s Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001.
Six months later, as people were cleaning up the mess, a fireman found a piece of metal with paper fused to it. I have no idea how this can happen without burning the paper but there it was paper melted to metal.
Not just any paper, it was a page from the Bible and not just any Bible, it was a King James red-letter edition with Jesus’ words are all in red — for emphasis.
It was not just any page, but a page from Jesus’ sermon on the mount found in the Gospel of Matthew and front and center fused on metal were the words:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39 King James)
The fireman turned the metal with the Word of God embedded in it over to Joel Meyerowitz who eventually gave it to the National September 11 Memorial Museum in 2010 where it is on display today.
In an interview with the New York Times Meyerowitz said:
“This shredded, burned and rubble-covered Bible came to me from the loving hands of a fireman who knew that I was the record keeper of ground zero. My astonishment at seeing the page that the Bible was open to made me realize that the Bible’s message survives throughout time, and in every era we interpret its teaching freshly, as the occasion demands.”
In these verses, Jesus was talking about the need to forgive, not to hold anger and revenge in our hearts. If God is telling us we need to forgive an act of terrorism, how much more do we need to forgive our family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.
Forgiveness is an act of the will. We choose to forgive and it is not an option for the believer. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (Matthew 6:14 KJ)
When we read passages like this, some people suggest the Bible contradicts itself. In the Old Testament it talks about an eye for an eye, but in the New Testament Jesus talks about forgiving those who offended us and turning the other cheek.
But we need to realize the Old Testament involved laws that would govern a nation, while Jesus was speaking to the heart of its citizens.
While Moses gave rules to govern a nation, Jesus gave us principles to govern our heart.
Individually we need to forgive, but the nation must still dispense justice.
- A Bible page was found fused to steel from 9/11, What it said is truly amazing: Young Conservatives
- At 9/11 Memorial, an Enduring Message of Forgiveness: New York Times