My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1)
I loved the picture that Pastor Monty painted for us this past Sunday. The picture of a great courtroom drama with Satan serving as the prosecuting attorney (because as Pastor pointed out, Satan is the accuser of the brethren Rev. 12:10) and Jesus Christ being our defense attorney because He is our Advocate! The more I have thought about this courtroom scene the more I think about the innocent who are falsely accused. That is how it often plays out in TV or the movies. When the innocent are falsely accused we really pull for the defense because we do not want to see some great injustice occur. But the truth is when you or I are the accused in this courtroom drama, we are guilt. You might even say we are guilty as sin!!!
There are no legal tricks that can be used to get the evidence of our guilt suppressed our thrown out altogether. There will be no last minute witnesses called to confess that they are in fact guilty of the sins we have been accused of committing. There will be no presidential pardons coming that would free us from the wrong we have done. In our own strength, wisdom, power, and abilities we are completely and totally helpless! So Satan makes the case against us. He accuses us of every sin we have ever committed in thought or action. The proof of our guilt is undeniable. All seems lost until Jesus Christ begins His defense.
He does not begin with all the good we have done in our lives. No, we could never have done enough good to tilt those scales of justice back in our favor. Jesus begins with the truth that He Himself lived a perfect, sinless life. He never once committed even a single sin. This is why He is the righteous one!
Our defense is not that we didn’t do it. Everyone knows we did every bit of what we have been accused of doing. Our defense is not, “Even though I did commit sins, I also did lots of good and helpful things.” Our defense is simply this – we did it and we are guilty, but Jesus Christ has already endured the punishment that we deserved.
We have a concept in our justice system called Double Jeopardy. Double Jeopardy is “a procedural defense that forbids a defendant from being tried again on the same (or similar) charges following a legitimate acquittal or conviction”. Once we place our faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ for salvation, it would be unjust for God to convict us of our sins. Jesus has already been counted among the sinners (Luke 22:37) and endured the punishment. It would be double jeopardy to convict and punish our sins a second time. It is only because Jesus lived a perfectly righteous life that He was able to take our punishment and appease the wrath that was stored up for us.
As you go through the remainder of your week, rejoice that Jesus Christ the Righteous is your advocate. He makes our defense based on His perfect righteousness, and the reality that the punishment we deserved – He endured. We will all face difficult times and situations as we live this life of faith but when those times come focus on the one who is Advocating on your behalf with our heavenly Father – Jesus Christ the Righteous!
Hope to see you Sunday!
This blog is the second in a series of posts that will follow up to Pastor Monty's Sunday sermon series, "Faithful Living in a Fallen World". You can listen to the companion sermon to this post here.