As someone who today enjoys the limelight, it is interesting how anonymity was my greatest ally during my formative years. Sitting in the middle of the classroom and utilizing the student in front of me as a shield allowed some protection from total disaster…the teacher calling on me!! The mere thought of being singled out and asked to speak was more than I could bear. It made no difference if the correct answer was available; fear took over.
The Trial Begins
That all came to an abrupt end when I became a federal agent. There were so many exciting aspects to my line of work: undercover operations, surveillances, wiretaps, international travel, exotic vehicles, flexible schedule, diplomatic status, etc. And the seismic shift resulted in my favorite part of the job…testifying in court. Having twelve folks in the jury box forced to listen to my every word sent joyful chills up my spine. Purposely, I would write long investigative reports with the hopes that the defense attorneys would keep me overtime on the witness stand. For several years my fellow agents were grateful that I volunteered to present all their cases before the federal grand jury. Timidity in the rearview mirror, now it was all about the courtroom, the judge, the lawyers, the agents, the witnesses, and, of course, the defendant.
As a law enforcement officer, my relationship with defense attorneys was strained at best. Their customary strategy in drug investigations involving an undercover agent was entrapment, claiming that their client became involved due to the officer’s pressure tactics. Thus, during cross-examination, their strategy centered around highlighting my lack of veracity, ethics and morals. Interestingly, those same “accusers” were very accommodating in social settings, citing they were just advocating for their clients and therefore their attacks were not personal in nature. Unfortunately, in human tribunals retribution cannot bring judgment to those who violated the law secretly. The guilty are set free frequently as are the innocent condemned.
This all changes when it comes to heavenly judgment. The Bible clearly states that all men, living and dead, saved and unsaved, will give an account to Christ. The bad news is that those not in Him will face their accuser at the Great White Throne Judgment as described in Revelation 20:12-15 with the resulting sentence of the second death. ALL believers will likewise face the court at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where Jesus himself will be the judge, and He will test our talents and our works. The great news is that there will be no condemnation in this courtroom, for although we are ALL guilty, the Judge himself takes the punishment in our behalf, for the Father insists on atonement for our sins.
What earthly tribunal will find you guilty and then set you free with the caveat that the presiding judge will receive the punishment in your behalf? What defense attorney in this country will acquiesce to becoming an “offense attorney” by taking the punishment for your offense if you are found guilty? What jury will issue the death penalty only to find themselves on death row? In our criminal justice system, those who commit egregious crimes will be incarcerated for life or receive capital punishment. In God’s economy, the death penalty is negated, and we are given eternal life if we testify that He is our Lord and Savior. What an experience it will be to face indictment in the Heavenly court, only to be set free by my Redeemer for eternity… justice and grace perfectly accomplished.
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