WE NEED THE HEAVENLY LAWYER
1 John 2:1 “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
Suppose that in a moment of weakness or temptation we would commit a terrible crime and were arrested. To engage the best lawyer obtainable would now be our chief concern. Price would become secondary, we would mortgage our home, borrow from friends, and do everything in our power to get someone to represent us and plead our cause before the court.
But all of our wrong acts in life, whether they are seemingly small or great, carry an eternal penalty before God. How few people care or try to get a good lawyer for their defense, although every single human being needs one if he hopes to escape his just punishments.
The dictionary defines an advocate as “One who pleads the cause of another; an intercessor; defender; counselor.” There is an ideal and perfect lawyer in heaven who offers His services to all men. And all men desperately need Him.
WE NEED THE HEAVENLY LAWYER
- WITHOUT HIM WE HAVE A HOPELESS CASE
Sin is universal, Rom.3:22-23 “For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Even people who are converted and are washed in the blood of the Lamb still sin daily; not intentionally, or willingly, or with malice; but sin they do, and must also pray every day, “Forgive us our trespasses.” So the words “If any man sin” are directed to all men, but especially to the Christians.
Sin is humiliating and alienates and separates us from God our Creator, the source of all goodness. Sin carries with it a bad conscience-and we have no peace or happiness in life. See how Adam and Eve fled from the presence of the Lord after they had sinned. Sin tears us away from God.
Now our case comes before the court. Would anyone in their right mind plead “Not guilty” before the omniscient Judge? We cannot plead innocent, or deny the charge, or offer an excuse, or present a defense; especially since the all-knowing Lord has pre-judged us, 1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
At this point we are ready to repeat the plea of David in Psalm 143:2,”Enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” We are faced with an eternal sentence and an everlasting prison term, for “the wages of sin is death”(Romans 6:23)
Let us not make the terrible mistake of thinking that the holy and just Judge is only saying these things to frighten us and will at the last minute change His mind about our case. If we have those thoughts we are committing a horrible, grievous error.
Having reached the point of despair can we not understand that without the heavenly Lawyer we have a hopeless case? Who would dare go into our State or Federal courts without legal council.
Dare we face the final judgment which decides our eternal fate, without an advocate? There is even a more compelling reason why we need the heavenly Lawyer.
- WITH HIM WE HAVE AN ASSURED ACQUITTAL
The services of the Lawyer in heaven are ours, free for the asking. In fact, He invites us, pleads with us to put our case into His capable hands. The moment we put our faith and trust in Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, that very moment we have placed our cause into His hands; and we shall never regret it.
Jesus alone is the court-appointed lawyer, the only one the court will recognize, the only one who has the right to approach the Judge and represent us at the bar of justice.
Jesus is the perfect lawyer being “the righteous.” He comes into court with clean hands, holy hands, to face the holy Judge. He knows the heart and mind of God perfectly because He Himself is God, He knows the heart and mind of man since He is also a true man.
He eloquently pleads our case for us. His summation speech might sound something like this — “0 most worthy Judge, my heavenly Father, out of infinite love for the world You sent me to be the substitute for the whole human race. I suffered and died on the cross for the sins of all men at Your urging and encouragement. Gladly did I obey Thy will because I also loved the world. Now I plead with You, dear Father, to be merciful and forgiving, and accept my sacrifice as the vicarious offering for all my clients. Our plea is —Not guilty by reason of my substitution.” How can such a plea go unheeded?
The Judge’s verdict might sound something like this —“My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, You are the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. I cannot say “no” to Your plea. I do not want a single soul to go lost. The plea that all your clients trust in your sacrifice and offering settles the case. I pronounce unconditional pardon in Your name. More than that, instead of Your clients being condemned to the eternal prison, I now decree that they shall live with Us and the holy angels in everlasting glory in heaven because they are freed of all sin by Your blood.”
This assured verdict and acquittal is taken for granted by our text, and is stated in many passages of Scripture. In fact, the Bible may be summed up in the words of John 3:16,”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
What now, after receiving our pardon? Should we not walk in newness of life, should not the verdict cause us to live a life of thanks to the grace of God in Christ? Should not our gratitude to the Lord and our Savior show itself in our daily life, renouncing sin and striving for true holiness? Should we not rededicate ourselves to the service of the Lord?
If we refuse the services of the heavenly Lawyer we shall surely lose our case before the bar of divine justice. Retain Him now before it is too late. For He will not always remain a Lawyer. On the last day He will exchange His role of lawyer for that of a judge. As the final Judge of all men He will gather His believers together and take them with Him into eternal glory; but the others who refused Him will be thrown into the eternal prison.
In the realm of eternal glory and bliss we shall need no lawyer. But until then, our prayer must be “ln the hour of trial, Jesus plead for me.” AMEN.
PRAYER. “Before Thee, O holy Lord, do we confess all our sins and iniquities, knowing that we deserve Thy eternal wrath and punishment. But Thou hast taught us to hope for grace and forgiveness through the merits of Thy dear Son, our only Savior. Enter not into judgment with us else we would all be lost. Accept the plea and sacrifice of Thy Lamb which taketh away the sins of the world, and make our hearts glad with the assurance of Thy mercy and forgiveness. Help us, 0 Holy Spirit, to lead a life pleasing to Thee. Praise and glory be to the holy Trinity, ever one God, world without end.” AMEN.