Summary: “The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
PUNISHMENT, PEACE PASSION
“The punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
A defendant was on trial for murder in Oklahoma. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that there is reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty." The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. "But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door." The jury foreman answered: "Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t."...
Now it’s pretty obvious that the reason the client didn’t look had to do with the fact that he was indeed guilty of the crime, and he knew it. So he knew that no one was going to walk through that door.
I wonder what would happen today, if we were all on trial for sin. The crimes we have all been guilty of in our lives; pride, greed, envy, lust, laziness, hatefulness, abandoning God in favor of other things, whatever you have been guilty of in your life has been pronounced. The guilt which you now feel, after hearing these crimes is overwhelming, for you realize that, yes, I am guilty of such things.
And just before the final sentence is to be announced come the closing statements. Well, in steps the prosecuting attorney. Dressed to the nines!!! $2,000 dollar suit, and a pair of $1500 gucci shoes. A Rolex on his wrist, and a charm about him that could melt any jury’s hard demeanor. And talk about intelligence! This guy is as sharp as a tack. He has degrees which would boggle the mind, and he knows each and everyone of your sins by heart! So there you sit, looking at this guy in fear and awe, and waiting for your lawyer, and hoping that he will give this guy a run for his money, yet not knowing what to expect.
The door opens again, and in steps your lawyer. He doesn’t look like much. Doesn’t look like he even has a law degree!! He is not in the finest suit, but rather comes in looking like he has just been walking on the street! And you groan……”I’m a goner!”
The judge asks for closing statements before the sentence is announced. The prosecuting attorney stands up, and says
“Your honor. The crimes which this defendant is guilty of are well known by you. They are both wide-ranging and wicked. From his very first day on this earth, the defendant has been open to displays of anger, visciousness, indecency, and lewdness. He has been rude to his neighbors, and shows an ugly side to his family. He cheats on his taxes, looks at women with lustful thoughts, craves attention only for himself. His punishment, your honor, should fit the crime! I demand therefore that this client be found guilty and sentenced to death.
The prosecutor then sits down, looks over at you, and sneers. Knowing how solid his case is, he has no doubt that you will be quickly sentenced and done with.
Then, your attorney stands up. He steps forward, and begins to speak.
“Your Honor” he says, “The accused admits that the crimes which he has committed are exactly what he has been sentenced with. He realizes that he has acted contrary to what is right. He also knows that he deserves to be sentenced to death.”
“Oh great” you think, “I mean, that’s true, but now I’m sunk for sure!”
“However your honor” your attorney continues, “I am willing to end this case here and now by taking the punishment for his crimes.”
You look up startled. “Did he say what I think he said?”
This simple looking attorney then looks over at you. He looks into your eyes and you see such incredible love there that any hardness in your heart towards others melts.
“Trust me” he says.
And you know then that despite your guilt, and despite how horrible you feel about the crimes you have committed, that you can indeed trust this man.