Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Guilty as Charged

The court was called back into session. Our jury had been able to come to a unanimous decision. The judged asked our presiding juror to stand. Our presiding juror gave our verdict to the judge. The judge read the verdict for all to hear—guilty of one count of child molestation. The defendant sat there emotionless. The defense attorney slumped and hung his head. Almost immediately the defense attorney asked that the jury be polled as to the verdict. The verdict did not change.

Our jury was not involved in the sentencing of the defendant—the judge does that at a later date. A man will go to jail because of his actions. A little girl had her childhood stolen from her. The “ripples” (or tidal wave) going out from this event will have long-term effects on everyone involved. Do the crime—do the time.

Good Friday is not too far away—it causes me to think about our day in court. Be sure, we will have our day in court. The laws we will have broken are the laws of God. The case against each of us will be “air tight.” We will be found guilty—I will be found guilty! The punishment? The punishment will be worse than death. Scripture describes it in many ways—all of them are horrible! The good news (and bad news) will be that those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ have someone to take the punishment their place. Christ’s death on Good Friday was, and is, the punishment. I caused Christ to die—that’s the bad news. You caused Christ to die—that’s the bad news.

Would I be willing to serve the jail time for the defendant in our case? He touched his daughters (to use her words) “private areas,” “butt” and “vagina.” He stole his daughter’s innocence and trust. He destroyed his family. No, I would not be willing to take his place in jail.

That causes me to stop and think. Jesus took my place—so that I could live. I received the benefits of Christ’s action. I am EXTREMELY glad that Christ took my place. Christ truly demonstrated his love for me (and you) for taking our punishment—even when we didn’t deserve it. I am humbled. I am torn in my spirit. I allow someone else to serve my sentence but am not willing to serve the sentence of this guilty father.

Jesus must REALLY love me (and all of us) if he is willing to do what I would never consider doing for this man. For a good friend I would be willing to serve their sentence—but not for this man. Christ’s Good Friday sacrifice truly demonstrates his love for us—the unlovable. I am humbled!


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