1 John 2:1
“If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”
From a Florida prison cell in June 1962, Clarence Earl Gideon wrote a note asking the United States Supreme Court to review his conviction for a crime he said he didn’t commit. He added that he didn’t have the means to hire a lawyer.
One year later, in the historic case of Gideon v. Wainright, the Supreme Court ruled that people who cannot afford the cost of their own defense must be given a public defender—an advocate—provided by the state. With this decision, and with the help of a court-appointed lawyer, Clarence Gideon was retried and acquitted. What a great ending to a story, right?
But what if we are not innocent? What if we did commit the crime? According to the apostle Paul, we are all guilty. We fall short and miss the mark. But the court of heaven provides an Advocate who, at God’s expense, offers to defend and care for our soul (1 John 2:2). On behalf of His Father, Jesus comes to us offering a freedom that even prison inmates have described as better than anything they’ve experienced on the outside. It is a freedom of heart and mind. What a great ending to our story, right? See what I did there?
Whether suffering for wrongs done by us or to us, we all can be represented by Jesus. By the highest of authority, He responds to every request for mercy, forgiveness, and comfort.
Jesus, our Advocate, can turn a prison of lost hope, fear, or regret into the place of His presence. Amen.