Today's passage: Isaiah 59
"For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;..." "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter."
I have a very clear picture of my unsaved self approaching a courthouse. Justice is standing at the courthouse steps, nodding at me and wishing me luck, with a sad look on his face. Truth is waving me down, rushing across the busy street to catch up to me, and is nearly plowed down by a vehicle. I enter the courthouse. God sits in the judge's seat. There is already someone sitting behind the witness stand. It is Pride. He tells the Judge about how I think I can do things better than others, how I think I'm always right. I want to cry out that it is not true, but the Judge will not allow me to speak, and my lawyer hasn't appeared. Pride is dismissed from the bench and Anger is asked to give his account. He tells the Judge about how I've yelled at people, how I've cursed under my breath, how I've wanted to take vengeance on someone who mistreated me. The evidence is mounting up against me. Why hasn't my lawyer arrived yet? I know I didn't hire one, but doesn't the state have an obligation to provide a defense for me? Now Anger is stepping down and Sloth is ordered to tell what he has witnessed. Objection! Objection! Sustained. Where is my lawyer? I need a lawyer.
I dash out into the vestibule and ask the clerk to call my attorney. He points at a bench across the hallway. Christ is sitting there. Apparently, he has been appointed to my case. I ask Him why He has not made a defense for me. He says I never called on Him. I tell Him I didn't know I had to. His eyes are filled with tears. He tells me that many people do not realize that He can not argue their case until they have called Him first. I want to know how I was supposed to know this. He shows me a Book. He pulls out a picture of a friend who told me about a Great Lawyer she had asked to testify for her once. He shows me a building I had once been to, that told me about His services. I drop my head. He was right. I had known. I had been told. Was it too late? I tell Him I am guilty of everything I have been accused. I tell Him that I have given money to the poor, that I have been kind to the unpopular girl in my class, that I have gotten straight A's throughout school. He tells me that will not cover my crimes. Do I trust Him? He shows me His hands. Then He lifts His robe a bit and shows me His feet. I remember now. The cross. He had taken my place for my crimes, my sins. Only that would suffice. I start to cry. I'm sorry, I tell Him. "Please forgive me," I plead. I'm so sorry that all the witnesses against me were the reason He had these marks. I tell Him I know now that only He can save me from the judgement to come. Will he take the case? He will.
Christ swings open the wood-paneled doors. I follow. Self-pity is on the stand rattling away about all the times I have felt sorry for myself. The Judge sees Christ approach the bench. Christ whispers something to the Judge. God raises his gavel and yells "Case dismissed!" I fall to my knees. I hug my Advocate and thank Him. I thank the Judge for allowing my Lawyer to save me. I run out of the courthouse as Justice heads up the steps. Truth brushes off the dirt from the street and heads into the courthouse as well. I want to tell everyone that Jesus will take their case too.
If I had appeared in Heaven before God's courtroom and I had not accepted Christ, I would not have another opportunity as I did in my story. I want to be clear about this, because I don't want anyone to think they will have another chance after this life. "...behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)" II Corinthians 6:2 Accept Him today!