Today in my city, in a courtroom, a judge is expected to right a wrong. Through the efforts of many, the petitions of hearts, and the judgment of several, three men convicted long ago are expected to be exonorated.
This is not a novel proceeding in my city. That is bittersweet. Bitter that the efforts and petitions are needed in the first place, bitter that this proceeding is NOT novel, sweet that finally wrongful convictions are being overturned, and, a little bit sweet that this proceeding is NOT novel anymore. Life is messy.
This is strangely reflective of what happened two thousand-ish years ago today. Those of you who know me will understand why I focus my attention today not on the main event, but the prelude.
After His arrest, my King was taken before a collective of judges. There are variations in all of the accounts, but He was alone. No one stood at his side. Lawyer, advocate, barrister, I’m not sure if there was an Aramaic word for that, but I’m pretty sure they were around back then. (SOMEBODY had to have drowned in the Sea of Reeds.) But nobody was there to tell His side, the ensure His voice was heard, to hold His Hand under the table when the verdict was read. Indeed, His own people were denying Him and were handing Him over for punishment.
After the verdict was read, sentencing moved along pretty swiftly. Apparently jury duty was a much more entertaining pastime then, because most accounts detail a crowd before Pilate begging for my King’s execution. Again, my King stood alone before Pilate. Pilate appeared to deliberate within his own mind over whether or not to crucify my King. Only he could know the contents of his heart, but whatever they were, he affirmed the jury’s sentence, and ordered that my King be crucified.
The appellate process was either a marvel of streamlined efficiency or nonexistent, for two thousand-ish years ago today, my King was crucified along with two other men.
My King was crucified so that today, in a courtroom in my city, someone else might show mercy and grace to three men wrongly convicted. My King was crucified so that all of those years ago, when they were originally convicted, not all hope was lost. My King was crucified so that for all of us, not all hope was lost. My King was crucified so that juries today might sit in temporal judgment of their fellow man (a system I believe in VERY STRONGLY) but rest in the comfort that Judgment is ultimately reserved for One infinitely more qualified. My King was crucified so that men and women might make the decision to stand beside those accused of crimes, to make sure that their side is heard. My King was crucified so that other men and other women might make the decision to speak for those against whom a crime was committed.
So that we all might make the decision to show grace and mercy to each other.
So that the many, MANY wrongs that we perpetrate while on this earth are forgiven.
So that we might love each other.
So that we are Eternally Loved.
There is a song…”Amazing Love, how can it be, that You my King should die for me?”
I am thankful.