The one who pleads for us

Saturday Reflection

Week 6 - 23 May 2020

'Christ Jesus... is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.' (Romans 8:34)

I enjoy a courtroom drama; the questioning, the counter arguments, the clever advocacy of the barristers,
all come together to produce gripping entertainment.
Sometimes real-life court cases make the headlines, particularly those which go to the High Court for a final ruling.

But there is one court which never makes the headlines; one which stands higher than any court on earth;
it is the court of heaven, where sits the most righteous judge of all.
Imagine if we were standing in the dock before him. I hate to say this, but things don't look too good for us;
the case for us looks black indeed; the evidence against us is substantial.
We have all fallen short, we have disobeyed the laws of God; we have gone our own way and failed to follow his laws.
In short, we are guilty - and stand in the dock already convicted, waiting for the judgement which we rightly deserve.

But someone rises to defend us - an advocate has come to plead our cause before the judge of all.
He is both a zealous and sympathetic supporter and, as he begins to argue our case, we recognise he understands all our human frailties for he has been there too.
He has been tired, misunderstood and frustrated; he has been angered and troubled in spirit;
but he did not cave in under any of these pressures; and in that strength of understanding he has prepared our defence.

Who is this defender?
It is Jesus who took up our cause even before we were even aware of our guilt.
In the passage from Romans, Paul reminds us that Jesus is

'at the right hand of the Father and is also interceding for us.'

He upholds our cause, declaring that the judgement and punishment has already been paid - by him.
Through his own death and resurrection, justice has been done. Jesus, the sinless one, has taken all the blame.

'After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.' (Hebrews 1:3)

Jesus' work that first Easter was a complete success - he now holds the best argument for our acquittal -
he has already paid the penalty; there is nothing more to pay.
The case against us collapses, there is no one left to condemn us - we are free.

It reminds me of the woman caught in adultery who was brought before Jesus (John 8:1-11).
Her accusers wanted her blood; Jesus instead gave mercy, knowing that his blood would fully pay off her guilt.
Jesus did not condone her sin, but revealed sin in the lives of those who condemned her who, when challenged, melted away.
When Jesus defends us the accusations against us cannot stand, we don't need to fear them anymore.
At the end of our trial we stand, like the woman, without any accusers. We hear the words,

'Has no one condemned you?'

With assurance we can look around and say, 'No one, sir.'

Then came those six words of wonderful grace which only Jesus could speak,
At the end of our trial we stand, like the woman, without any accusers. We hear the words,

'Then neither do I condemn you.'

We can go forward to live a life free from condemnation - but with other words echoing in our ears.

'Go and sin no more.'

Five little words which are so often forgotten in the euphoria of our forgiveness; but so important.
Do we feel guilty about any particular issue in our lives at the moment?
If we go to Jesus in repentance, he promises to defend our cause.
Invite him into the situation and ask him to give us his perspective.

He will never let us down and, with that assurance, we can go out in his strength to serve him in the world