[We] are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that comes through Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24 (NIV)
I looked around the courtroom from the witness stand, fully aware of the awesome presence of the judge, my counselor, and my mediator. I trembled with fear, understanding the consequence of this moment. Although I had hoped for plenty of witnesses to help me plead my case, I saw that the courtroom was empty. There was no one to help me. I was standing on my own.
As the counselor approached the witness stand, He smiled at me, knowing my fear and discomfort. Gently prodding me, He took my hand and reminded me of things I had done. In my mind, I could see my life, images of words I had said and people I had hurt. Pieces of time were caught in my memory as I saw a trail of broken hearts in the path I had taken. I never knew. I never stopped to look at the things I had done, thinking that my actions only affected me. Slowly the tears streamed down my face, and sorrow swept over me as I realized that I was guilty.
Suddenly, a loud voice filled the courtroom. “Are these accusations true?” the judge questioned.
I could not turn to face him. Shame washed over me as I hung my head and whispered, “Yes.” I knew that I had no defense. I could not talk my way out of this situation, but in my heart I knew I had to face the coming wrath. I took a deep breath and looked at my mediator. “I did these things, and I’m truly sorry. Some actions I knew were wrong, and I did them anyway. Some were just decisions made in haste, but if I had the opportunity I would do them differently. All I can do is plead for mercy.”
The comforter stayed beside me, holding my hand as the mediator approached the bench. I watched them converse for just a moment, knowing that my fate was sealed.
The gavel rang as the judge prepared to hand down the verdict. I held my breath, expectantly. “Not guilty.” The loud voice declared the judgment triumphantly.
My eyes grew wide as I stared at the judge then my helpers in turn. My voice squeaked, “How could this be?”
The mediator walked toward me with His arms open. “I nailed your sins to the cross long ago. You are set free. You have been given a new life.”
“What do I do now?”
He smiled at me and replied, “Live for Me.”