Destroying human life is really what is at the heart of this command. God has placed a high value on our life. He intends that as image bearers of God we will understand how important each and every one of us is.
Murder is a tearing down of a person made in the image of God.
Jesus elaborates on this command in Matthew 5: 22-22. He explains that anger and insults are a violation of this command for that very reason.
When we insult another human being we are basically looking at God’s image and saying “you stink”.
Sure we are all broken image bearers of God, we never get it exactly right – of course Jesus died for that reason – but we are still the image of God.
To kill is to destroy that image.
To bully is to take dignity away from that image, which to Jesus is like killing them.
It’s not all about the command; it’s about the value we place on the image of God. That annoying guy at work, that guy on the street corner asking for money (and probably getting wealthy), that girl with the pimples and the braces who never quite learned how to dress, these people are the image bearers of God.
No matter how broken, they can be redeemed. Is Jesus big enough to rescue you? He can rescue them too.
Jesus, help me to see the image of God in others around me. And help me know how to work with you toward redemption, not toward destruction.