Summary: A Good Friday Sermon
Good Friday Service
Grace and Peace to your from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
I would like you to imagine that you are in a courtroom.
In this courtroom there is the prosecuting attorney seated behind a table, the defense attorney seated behind a table, a judge seated behind the bench of justice, and the jury. All of us are seated behind the defense attorney, for each of us is on trial, there are no onlookers, no spectators, no innocent bystanders at this trial, everyone is on trial.
You and I are on trial, we are accused of many charges. Charges that resulted because we sin by thought, word and deed. We sin by things we have done and things, we have left undone.
Behind the judge’s bench sits the judge looking each of us in the eye sternly because the judge is God himself.
And the prosecuting attorney, the one who is trying to prove our guilt, our sinful ways,is none other that Satan himself. He is in fine form calling witness after witness against us. The devil not only calls witness after witness to testify against us, to proclaim our sinful deeds. Or the deeds of love we have failed to do, but he also has videotaped highlights of our lives, things we did which we thought no one knew about. Things we thought about doing which we thought were in secret. He showed lies and gossip we spread about someone we thought no one knew came from us. In that videotape, even the inner thoughts, of our mind’s eye come to life. Our thoughts of hate, of not forgiving another, revenge, selfish attitudes, placing our wants and needs as the number one priority in life. All of these the devil has on videotape and is playing it before us, before our neighbors, our spouse, our families and God himself.
As all the tapes, as all the witnesses are heard, as the devil even quotes from our Bible, " All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," or ’’All we are like sheep and have gone astray," or "No one is righteous no not one!" the evidence becomes overwhelming. We are defenseless, the guilt seems overwhelming, the sin too great to be defensed.
But after the prosecuting attorney is finished, after Satan as paraded our lives before us and God. The defense attorney begins to represents us, for this attorney of ours is Christ Jesus. But there is little he can do against such overwhelming evidence. Jesus calls witnesses who try to say our deeds are not sins, even one witness blames the prosecuting attorney, the devil, for our sins. We are called in our own behalf, but to no avail. We confess we have sinned, we have broken the law, we stand in judgment.
As the defense attorney rests his case, it’s clear what the verdict will be, must be. The facts are there.
In the final instruction to the jury, the judge reminds them of more scripture as he says, "The soul that sins shall die." The wages of sin is death."
The jury is out for a long time. We get very restless. We squirm, we move in our seats. We know that our very lives are at stake. The defense attorney, Jesus, is sober and thoughtful
Finally the jury returns.
Has the jury reached a verdicts?"
"Yes!!! We have your Honor!"
"What is your verdict?"’
The foremen clears his throat, He unfolds the printed verdict and without looking up he reads clearly and loudly,
"Your Honor, ON ALL CHARGES IN THIS CASE, WE FIND THE DEFENDANTS TO BE NOT GUILTY!
Not guilty? The crowd buzzes in disbelief. You turn to your neighbor and question, you laugh you cry, you wonder, you wonder why, how can this be? You know deep within your heart and soul, the guilt, the wrongs, the burdens you carry with you are a heavy weight upon your back, upon your very life. You glance over at the prosecuting attorney who falls back into his chair slumped over in shock and disbelief. He wanted the guilty verdict because he knew of our guilt. He wanted to take charge of us, to be in complete control.
Then you look for the defense attorney, for Christ Jesus, but he is not there, not at his table. He must have stepped out for a moment just before the jury returned.
The crowd begins to rise, you rise too, and begin to file out of that great courtroom. You are now laughing, celebrating the verdict, the victory which is yours. As you turn to go out the door, you walk past a window and the laughter turns to silence. You, the others in the crowd, stare out the clouded window, stare through the clouded glass. You see in the distance a shadow and then an outline, there is a figure of a person, a man.