Accept Jesus and get your own “Atticus Finch” as Ultimate Defense Attorney…
The gist is defined as “the main or essential part of a matter.” So here’s the gist of this blog.
It’s based on the idea of God as Ultimate Judge. In turn, the Bible shows that God’s son – Jesus – is the Ultimate, Court-appointed Defense Attorney. (As will be shown below.)
The best part of the deal is that because He is the Judge’s Son, JCPD – Jesus Christ, Public Defender – can cut you a deal that only a moron would turn down.
But first, a word about the Process. As noted elsewhere, the process of your salvation begins when you accept the promise of Jesus in John 6:37. (That He will never turn away anyone who comes to Him.) From that point, you head “down the road toward Jesus.”
That is, you begin the interactive process of walking to Jesus, by reading the Bible on a regular basis. And you start shaping your life via the “CliffsNotes” summary of the Bible that Jesus gave in Matthew 22 – verses 36 through 40. That’s where Jesus responded to a wise-guy lawyer trying to trap Him by asking, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
(Emphasis added.) Which brings up the metaphor of Super Mario Brothers.
That is, the interactive process of walking toward Jesus is much like that “1985 platform video game,” developed and published by Nintendo. In other words, the days and weeks of your life will pass by, and you will read the Bible more and more. But then – every once in a while – you’ll come across a golden nugget, a passage from the Bible that puts your life into focus.
As the caption to the image above right reads: “The player controls Mario throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. Mario’s abilities can be changed by picking up certain items; for example, Mario is able to shoot fireballs if he picks up a Fire Flower.”
The game world has coins scattered around it for Mario to collect, and special bricks marked with a question mark (“?”), which when hit from below by Mario, may reveal more coins or a special item. Other “secret,” often invisible, bricks may contain more coins or rare items. If the player gains a red and yellow Super Mushroom, Mario grows to double his size and can take one extra hit from most enemies and obstacles…
See Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. So metaphorically, something like that can happen when you read the Bible on a regular – preferably daily – basis. Put another way, the clues you pick up in your Bible-reading are like those coins of great value in Luke’s parable.
The bottom line is that those Bible-nuggets can give you the power to decode your own unique life-script. (And maybe even “shoot fireballs,” metaphorically or otherwise.)
And as explained below, when you accept JCPD, you get put on a kind of “pre-trial diversion” or probation. As part of that “PTD,” you’re expected to make a good-faith effort to love, learn about, and get to know God with all you have.
And as far as possible, you’ll be expected to live at peace with your neighbors. (Again, see Matthew 22:36-40.) And you’ll also be expected to read and apply the Ultimate Pre-trial Diversion Handbook, to wit: the Bible.
It’s really that simple…
But getting back to the metaphors of God as Ultimate Judge and JCPD…
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Imagine meeting God as Ultimate Judge. You’ve led an okay life. You’re not a serial killer or child molester. You attend church. (From time to time.) You give to some charities, from time to time. But then – into the courtroom – comes The Ultimate Prosecutor.
Note that “Satan” comes from the Hebrew and Greek. (“Satanas” in Greek.) Both words translate literally as “adversary.” (Note too that the root word for devil is “diabolos,” Greek for “slanderer.”) So – like any good prosecutor – the Ultimate Prosecutor (Satan) will try to get you convicted, by “slandering the accused.” (In this case, you.)
That’s when this Ultimate Prosecutor will point out things like James 2:10, “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
So you’re sunk, right? Who could you get to speak up for you?
Who else but that Ultimate Court-Appointed Defense Attorney, Jesus Christ, Public Defender.
As it says in 1st John 2:1, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” And “advocate” is just another term for lawyer; someone who puts in a good word for you. “One who argues for a cause or person; a supporter or defender.”
On that note, consider the story Sam Ervin – at right – once told of an old North Carolina lawyer. The old lawyer was asked how he could justify arguing for a client he knew was guilty:
Someday[, he said] I shall stand before the Bar of Eternal Justice to answer for deeds done by me in the flesh. I shall then have an advocate in the person of our Lord [Jesus], who will certainly be pleading for a very guilty client.
But getting back to JCPD. He isn’t just any old overworked, underpaid, hack public defender. Just like the Ultimate Judge and the Ultimate Prosecutor, Jesus is The Ultimate Public Defender. And again, because He’s personally related to the Judge – Jesus is the “Judge’s” son – He can get you a super deal. In fact, it’s a deal only a moron would turn down.
Here’s the deal: If you get JCPD appointed to your case, He can “grease the right palms.” He can see to it that you don’t have to go to “court” (judgment) at all. Instead of going to “Court “- at all – JCPD can see to it that you go immediately into the “Ultimate Pre-trial Diversion Program.”
But there’s a catch…
The catch is that you have to ask for this special Public Defender before you die. If you wait until after you die it may be too late! (So, why take the chance?)
Or as it says in Isaiah 50:8, “Let us appear in court together.”
To be continued…
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With “JCPD,” you’ll go into court with a defense attorney who’s the Judge’s son…
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The upper image is courtesy of www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/erikraymond/2015/06/03/atticus finch. The review added: “I was intrigued by Atticus Finch. At every turn he seemed to give people the benefit of the doubt and even (perhaps to a fault) willing to cover character defects with loving understanding.” The reviewer – Erik Raymond – then added this:
The character in Harper Lee’s story helped me to become uncomfortable enough to ask questions about myself. You might say he cross examined me when I didn’t know I was even on the stand. This is a pleasure of reading, sometimes the book you are reading begins to read you. As a Christian everything is a tool that can aid in the heart work of sanctification. (Emphasis added.)
The reader may also find these websites of interest: Transformed Public Defender « Power to Change, and Jesus, my public defender | Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Re: Public defenders. See also Hightower v. State, 592 So.2d 689 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1991):
Public defenders stand alone, armed only with their wits, training and dedication. Inspired by their clients’ hope, faith and trust, they are the warriors and valkyries of those desperately in need of a champion. Public defenders, by protecting the downtrodden and the poor, shield against the infringement of our protections, and in reality, protect us all.
Re: God as “Ultimate Judge.” Cruden’s Complete [Bible] Concordance has a number of citations, like “God is a righteous judge; God sits in judgment every day.” (Psalm 7:11.) See also 76 Bible verses about God, As Judge – Knowing Jesus. But this metaphor isn’t limited to Judeo-Christian tradition. It was shared by the ancient Egyptians, who believed after death a person could expect “judgment before Osiris; if the verdict was favorable, he would live in Osiris’ kingdom, if not, he was abandoned to a monstrous destroyer, part crocodile, part hippopotamus.” See Roberts, J.M. The Pelican History of the World, Penguin Books (1980), at page 90.
Re: the “interactive process.” See On St. Matthew – 2015: “A third thing you can do is realize the process is both interactive and ongoing. (The more you do it the better you get at it.)”
Re: definitions of “Satan,” etc. See New International Dictionary of the Bible, Regency Reference Library, 1987, Page 899. See also Revelation 12 KJV, verses 7-10:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels. And prevailed not… [T]he great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying … the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (E.A.)
The probation cartoon is courtesy of jobdescriptions.net/legal/probation-officers-job-description.
The image is Sam Ervin is courtesy of Sam Ervin – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The caption: “Sam Ervin (right), as chair of the Senate Watergate Committee.” The Sam Ervin quote is courtesy of Bill Wise, The Wisdom of Sam Ervin, Ballantine Books (1973), at page 136.
The lower image is courtesy of Lady Justice – Image Results. See also, for example, the photo at Scopes Trial – Wikipedia, with the caption: “Clarence Darrow (left) and William Jennings Bryan (right) chat in court during the Scopes Trial.” Or see On three suitors.
The image above left – also used as a defense-attorney example – shows Sam Sheppard and his defense attorney, F. Lee Bailey. (Also one of the attorneys who represented O. J. Simpson.) Sheppard was ultimately acquitted, and the “television series The Fugitive and the 1993 film of the same name has been cited as being loosely based on Sheppard’s story.” (The film and TV creators have denied that claim.) Be that as it may, the image is courtesy of law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/sheppard/sheppard.