This poster should be on all our bedroom and office walls. In our society lawyers are usually seen as a necessary evil. My image of lawyers is still shaped by my university years when I watched the movie the Devil's Advocate. There the lawyers are presented as part of the Devil's scheme to conquer the world. As I have grown in knowing God, I have come to have a deeper appreciation of the image of lawyers. Lawyers now remind me of the powerful image of God presented in the Bible.
In the Bible God’s image is that of a prosecuting attorney. He is the Lord who brings his case against nations. In one of the shortest books of the Bible, God indicts Israel’s neighbouring state Edom through one of his appointed prophets, Obadiah. God lays out specific charges. Edom will be judged because it is full of pride; trusts in false gods of material wealth and human ability; and, has committed unspeakable violence against its brother nation Israel.
The prophecy of Obadiah reminds us that with God the prosecuting lawyer, there’s nothing hidden from his sight and that ultimately we shall all be held to account. As King Solomon said, “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing”. This should be comfort to those who suffer any form of injustice in this life. They can say with the Psalmist, “you have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” (Psalms 56:8) When the final book of judgment is opened, all the wrongs will be made right. Justice will ultimately be done.
The image of tough prosecutor will rightly also cause us to worry. For we too commit much injustice to others! It means our sins do not go unnoticed! Which is why it is most comforting that God gives us another image of God as a lawyer! The Bible does not just present God as the prosecutor, but it also shows him as the defence lawyer. Apostle John says writing to believers of his day encourages them with this very image:
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. [1 John 2:1-2]
We are all sinners before God. Even when I became a Christian, I did not stop sinning. Sin is serious business. The bible calls it lawless, rebellion, iniquity and defiance against God himself! The good news is that if you have truly repented of your sins and turned to Jesus, he now stands in your defence against the prosecuting attorney! Jesus is now your lawyer before God! Jesus qualifies on account of his divinity as the perfect God made flesh. The eternal Son of the Father!
When Jesus stands before God as my perfect lawyer, he is bearing two things on my behalf. In his left hand is His Righteousness. In His right hand is His atoning blood for my sins! He is the perfect lawyer who has given a perfect sacrifice for my sins! He is enough for all our sins – past, present and future! And this sacrifice is available to all trust him across the world.
This is good news to everyone. It means sinners are without excuse! If they repent and call Jesus the Lawyer, all the debts of sin are paid for. But specifically, it is good news to everyone who has turned to Jesus! It comforts us and makes us live with joy everyday! It means Jesus has done it all! It means I am bought & paid for already! It means just as you became a Christian by his cross, you also now live trusting his cross! It means your burdens been lifted on Calvary! It means living in freedom to love and serve!
Question: How does this image of God comfort or challenge you?