I don’t know about you, but I hate jury duty. I’m not sure I’ve never met someone who said they love jury duty. I’m sure those people are out there; I just haven’t met any of them. There was a time a few years ago that I was selected to sit on a Grand Jury for a federal case regarding the distribution possession of child pornography. I tried multiple times, and multiple ways, to get thrown off the case, but each time the judge would find a reason I had to stay. I can remember hearing the judge say that the “burden of proof is on the prosecution.” Meaning the prosecution has to “prove” beyond a reasonable doubt that the “defendant” is guilty of the crimes committed. This system helps reinforce the judicial tenant in America; “innocent until proven guilty.” But what about God’s judicial system?
God’s Judicial System
Just like most courts of law around the world, God’s judicial system is set up in a similar fashion. We learn through Hebrews 12 that God is the Righteous Judge over all things. It’s in Revelation 12:10 that we learn there is an accuser, and they stand before God day and night accusing our brothers and sisters in Christ. But what we also learn from our reading today that in God’s judicial system, there’s also an advocate.
1 John 2:1-2 (NLT) 2 My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. 2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.
In the American judicial system, you are “innocent until proven guilty.” However, in God’s judicial system you’re guilty regardless of how innocent you think you are. Because of sin, you’ve been pronounced with the penalty of death (Romans 6:23), but because of Christ’s love, we’ve been pardoned of our sin. Romans 5:8 tells us, “8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
When we go back and read from the beginning of God’s Word, for forgiveness to be experienced in a person’s life, something has to die. In the case of 1 John 2:1-2, what we find is Jesus advocating on our behalf that He indeed died for the crime that we committed. It reminds me of the powerful scene from the movie, “Brokedown Palace.”
Alice (Claire Danes) and her friend Darlene (Kate Beckinsale) go to Bangkok to celebrate their high school graduation. In the middle of the trip, an attractive Australian man befriends them and convinces the two girls to go with him to Hong Kong. Just when they’re about to board the plane, the two girls are arrested for drug smuggling and sentenced to 33 years in a terrible prison known as Brokedown Palace.
What you need to know before watching this clip is that the two girls were setup and are completely innocent.
Like Jesus, Alice made the ultimate sacrifice for her friend. I can’t help but picture Jesus advocating with his Father over the sentence of guilty that we rightly deserve!
Here’s the most important piece of information for you to consider today: Yes, Jesus advocates for us; even for the sins of the entire world (2:2), but forgiveness will only be for those who “know” him.
1 John 2:3-6 (NLT) 3 And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. 4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 5 But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him.6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.