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The classic movie, The Princess Bride, is one of my favorite movies. I love watching Andre the Giant climb up a mountain with three people hanging on him, laughing with Billy Crystal's love for a MLT sandwich, and learning new words like, "Inconceivable." My favorite character though Inigo Montoya. He has the best backstory in the whole movie, and has one of the most famous lines in cinematic history "Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." You get goose bumps every time you hear it. What a great story of revenge. Montoya gets his revenge and the six fingered man meets his end. I would say alot of us are like Inigo, maybe not as entertaining a backstory, but we are want revenge on someone in some way, shape, or form. Revenge fills up our tank and keeps us going in this life.
Revenge is something that the Old Adam loves, and a vice that feeds him habitually. However, Luther speaks on the 5th commandment saying, "It is God's ultimate purpose that we let harm come to no one, but show him all good and love. He would ever remind is to reflect upon the First Commandment-He is our God, which means He will help, assist, and protect is in order that we may quench the desire of revenge in us." (Large Catechism I.193,195). Are you Inigo Montoya? Yes, you and I desire revenge. We hold grudges and we ruin people's reputations with our gossip and back stabbing. We talk about our friends like they were our enemies, and our fellow Christians like they were the bane of the churches existence. Yes, you and I are Inigo, living our lives with revenge being the driving force.
Let us repent of this, for we are not called to live in revenge, but in absolution with all around us. Jesus loves us and died for us, not seeking revenge for our sins, but covering us instead in His righteousness. Jesus has the best backstory of man, living only with evil intent, and rejecting His grace. However, Jesus wasn't driven by revenge, but by mercy and love. He did not come into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be saved through Him. Jesus came and assumed all our vengeful thoughts and get-back-at-em actions of tongue and fist. He claimed these as His own and die in our place on the cross. Now, the Father no longer sees our vengeful hearts, but only the heart of His Son which is filled with love and forgiveness. This means that in every moment of our failure, meaning when we have revenge filling our heart, we have a merciful God who forgives us and puts that feeling to death. God loves us and covers us in His righteousness, covers our neighbor in His righteousness, in order that we may live a joyous life here and in the one to come.
Peace be with you. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam be drowned anew so that you hear only the peaceful voice of your Savior Jesus who says, "I love you. I forgive you. I claim you as My own forever," Amen.