“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”
A couple weeks ago, I was called to jury duty in Brooklyn’s Criminal Courts (please – try to contain your jealousy).
After seven hours of sitting in chairs that seemed to have been ergonomically designed for cardboard boxes, I was called to the jury stand. Basically, it’s where the attorneys grilled us to see if we’d make good jurors.
“Miss Hancock,” they began, and pointed to a nervous-looking girl. “At that table, you’ll see a man who’s all nice and cleaned up. Looks like a pretty good kid, doesn’t he?”
“In one week, you may have to decide whether he spends the rest of his life in prison for murder. Do you feel that you can stand in judgement of another human being, Miss Hancock?”
“I guess…if I had to,” she said.
I made eye contact with the accused man, and I quickly looked down. How could I – another human being – decide whether this guy in a plaid shirt would spend the rest of his life in an 8×6 space?
As a Christian, you’ve probably been in that seat, sweating and trying your best to look good to everyone else. God’s the judge, and you can’t bear to make eye contact. You’re overcome by shame and guilt. You’re annoyed by all of the other Christians in the jury box who just never seem to slip up – or at least, don’t get caught. Perhaps you feel you’ve been accused wrongly, and you’re angry.
Imagine yourself sitting in that man’s seat. Look up, and watch God make his way down from the bench. In that moment, don’t try to explain why you’re innocent. Don’t tell him you’re a worthless person, and that you’ll never be good enough.
Because no matter what you say, his words will always be the same – Go free. The price has already been paid.
Just stand up, walk outside, buy yourself a Shack Burger, and do your best to live differently – not because you’re afraid of getting caught – but because you know God’s grace is more powerful than any law.
40% of the emails in your inbox are probably from Leanna Kelly. She’s the Executive Assistant for Growth Groups and Ministry at the Journey Church, and if you’re curious about what that entails, she’ll happily send you another email explaining all the details.