Summary: The fourth sermon in the 2007 series, ‘The People’s Choice Sermon Series’
This morning is the fourth sermon in our series ‘The People’s Choice Sermon Series’ and today’s sermon is entitled (slide 1), ‘Jesus…Our Lawyer…Our Savior.’
And I begin this morning with a brief TV trivia quiz that asks, (slide 2), ‘Who is not a famous TV lawyer?’ Are you ready?
Among the lists of the following persons, who is not the TV lawyer?
(2a) Robert T Ironside
(2b) Commander Harmon ‘Harm’ Rabb
(2c) Ally McBeal
(2d) JL McCabe
(2e) Oliver Wendell Douglas
It is… (2f) Robert T Ironside
Okay, here is a second list of persons. (Slide 3)
(3a) Jack McCoy
(3b) Denny Crane
(3c) Amy Gray
(3d) Matt Dillon
(3e) Ben Matlock
It is… (3f) Matt Dillon
Now, I know attorneys are the subject of numerous jokes and the profession is, at times, highly maligned. But, an attorney, when you need one, is a very important professional who has been given certain authorities and powers which have significant implications.
According to my dictionary, a lawyer is a person ‘who is trained and qualified to give legal advice to clients and represent them in court.’
Lawyers practice law. What does that mean? To practice something in this manner is, according to my Webster’s second New Riverside Dictionary, ‘to practice a profession.’
I confess to you this morning that when I first began to process the request to preach a sermon on Jesus as our lawyer, I thought, ‘where is this idea found in scripture?’ I know that in Romans Paul speaks of the law and how Christ fulfilled the law. Yet the law being referred to, at least as I interpret those sections, is more than a legal code like we have today. It was a moral and ethical code that started with the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses given to the Israelites early in the journey to the Promise Land.
But when I entered the search term, ‘lawyer’ in my Bible software, our main text for this morning popped up on my screen. So let’s turn to it and see what it has to say to us about God, about Jesus being our lawyer.
(Slide 4) Lamentations 3:58 says, ‘Lord, you are my lawyer! Plead my case! For you have redeemed my life. You have seen the wrong they have done to me, Lord. Be my judge, and prove me right.’
The book of Lamentations (which means the act of lamenting) is a book written soon after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians approximately 600 years before Christ’s birth. The traditional belief is that Jeremiah wrote the book.
In this book the prophet laments the destruction of Jerusalem and the spiritual condition of what is left of Israel. His grief is profound and as we read in chapter 2 and verse 11, ‘I have cried until the tears no longer come. My heart is broken, my spirit poured out, as I see what has happened to my people.’
Yet he goes to confidently assert in verses 19 – 24, ‘The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
We see a noticeable change take place in the prophet’s heart and attitude because of his confidence and trust in the Lord! Though he is deeply, deeply troubled and saddened by the situation in his nation and with his people, he ultimately remembers that the Lord is merciful and that the people have been delivered from complete destruction.
As we move through chapter 3 to our main text, Jeremiah reflects on God’s mercy and graciousness and calls the people to repentance and renewal by examining their hearts, thoughts, and lives as well as turning back to the Lord as we read in verses 40 through 42:
‘…let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn again in repentance to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven and say, “We have sinned and rebelled, and you have not forgiven us.’
Then his thoughts turn to those who have conquered them, their enemies and that they have been abandoned by God. Fear becomes a factor and the prophet weeps uncontrollably. He then recalls the experience of being chased down by his enemies and thrown into a well or pit and crying out to the Lord for help as we read in verses 52 to 54.
My enemies, whom I have never harmed, chased me like a bird. They threw me into a pit and dropped stones on me. The water flowed above my head, and I cried out, “This is the end!”