Judge - He Knows the Defendant

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, October 4, 2012 0 comments

Through my undergraduate studies and my current occupation as an investigator for Children's Protective Services, I've gotten to spend some time in the courtroom and learn quite a bit about the legal process.  In major criminal trials, including many of the famous ones with which most people are familiar, the verdict is decided by a jury.  In this type of trial, known as a "jury trial" or "trial of your peers", the judge makes rulings related to courtroom activity, evidence, and witnesses, but has no power whatsoever over the actual verdict.  However, in my line of work, the type of trial used is a "bench trial", where the judge makes all the decisions on witnesses, evidence, testimony, courtroom proceedings, AND the verdict.  He basically has ALL of the power to decide the fate of each side.

It's just like that with our God.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm certainly not saying any of our earthly, sinful judges compare to God.  But what I am saying is that the Judge's ruling is like that of a bench trial.  It won't really matter what anyone else thinks about you - good or bad.  Let's face it.  For any single one of us, we could find some peers who would rule in our favor and some who would rule against us.  This is why we as human beings cannot just focus on "being a good person" in this lifetime.  "Good" is subjective, and no matter how positively you live your life, there will always be those who find something they don't like about you.  But "good" is not subjective when it comes to God.  His standard of goodness is perfection, and anything else falls short.  The Apostle Paul says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  So if you have ever messed up even one time in your life, and then went to stand before your final "bench trial" with the ultimate Judge, the evidence and testimony would overwhelmingly indicate that you are guilty as charged!

But fortunately, there is one very significant difference between God and our earthly judges (there are many differences, but one in particular that gives us hope).  Everything about our legal system is designed to make sure the defendant receives a "fair and speedy" trial as the Constitution stipulates.  One of the main things that would compromise that right is if the judge already has a personal relationship with the defendant, so we do whatever it takes to guard against that.  The opposite is true with the ultimate Judge.  God is not only Creator, but He KNOWS His creation.  He knows everything about us.  God knows why we do what we do, why we struggle with certain things and not others, and whether or not we have entered into a relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ.  Because we know God is just, we can be sure that He takes all of these things into consideration.  Don't misunderstand what I'm saying.  Jesus was clear and definitive: "No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6b).  But let us not forget that not everyone enters into a relationship with Jesus Christ the same way.  We have developed the "sinner's prayer" in our culture, but Scripture does not say one has to pray it or have some miraculous conversion experience to be saved.  So while many in the Church want to pass judgment on others and decide who has come to Jesus and who hasn't based on prayers, experiences, baptisms, etc., we can be thankful that the only opinion that matters is that of the great Judge, who knows everything about us.

Obviously, the fact that God knows everything about us can be both the best and the worst news, depending on whether you have trusted in Jesus to be the One who paid your penalty and invited you into abundant life for the rest of eternity.  You see, we all get accused before God every day.  If you don't believe me, take a look at Job 1.  Satan, whose name literally means "accuser", goes before God and "prosecutes" Job.  Would we be so naive to think he doesn't also accuse us?  And the sad thing is that we are generally guilty of everything we are accused of.  However, Satan looks only at the evidence.  He is hell-bent on proving his point to the Judge, forgetting that the Judge knows the defendant and whether or not his penalty has already been paid. 

So where are you in terms of your penalty?  I can't ask where you are in terms of your trial because I know everyone of you, like me, is on trial because Satan has accused you.  I hope and pray that you are able to walk in the same freedom that I am.  I hope that you, like me, can say, "Go ahead and accuse all you want, Satan, because the Judge knows me and knows that the penalty has been paid".  Then, and only then, will you be able to truly walk in freedom and follow Christ to the abundant life he wants to offer you.