“You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well.” (Mt. 5:38)
Its not always easy to find the Good News in a passage like this. Where is the Gospel? “If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other one as well.” This doesn’t sound like Good News. It sounds like a way to insure that you get beat up.
But there is Good News here! The Good News is that the world is not about tit for tat. There is more to morality than justice. The cycle of violence and escalation is broken and those of us who are disciples of Jesus are called to live our lives in a different way. We are no longer bound by the law of karma (You get what you give.)
By the power of Jesus death and resurrection, the law of karma is transcended. As Asla n says when he explains his own return from death in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,
“It means,” said Aslan, “that though the Witch [who killed him] knew the Deep Magic [of justice], there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge only goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards.”
As disciples of Jesus we live a life filled with this “deeper magic.” Our hearts are called to act with justice (deep magic) but due to Christ’s resurrection, we are empowered by a deeper magic which allows us to “turn the other cheek” and not fear suffering and death.