I remember my first visit to a courtroom years ago as a young pastor (a man had asked if I would go with him for moral support). The whole “aura” of the court is meant to intimidate. I was humbled by the barriers of separation, separate door entrances, high ceilings with dark wood, guards, and a somber quietness. Then the judge entered the room with long robes and the voice of the bailiff rang out, “Everyone stand.” For those guilty of crimes, this is where “reckoning” begins. In the Book of Hosea, the prophet speaks on God’s behalf from the courtroom: “Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites, because the Lord has a charge to bring against you who live in the land: There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land. There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed” (Hosea 4:1-2). As I read Hosea’s indictment, I couldn’t help thinking of the condition of our country and the city of Philadelphia. In my 60 plus years of life, I have never witnessed such corruption and evil as we see happening now…and considered as just “normal.” So many live as if they will never have to “show up in court” and answer to a holy God. But, make no mistake, God sees everything, and every person will give an account of what was done in life. The best we can do in this short time is to entrust our lives to God and avoid evil like the world’s worst deadly virus. And remember, our judge made a way for us to be forgiven! Our trust in Jesus’ death on the cross assures us that our crimes will not be held against us! Because of what Christ has done, the Judge is my Father, and the Lord Jesus is my defense attorney! I don’t need to be terrified of the courtroom, because the One who loves me provided everything for my salvation and eternal welfare!
Pastor Mark Boucher