The following skit is one I prepared for my church fellowship group this week as we studied the topic of “God is Just.” The topic seemed to expand ever larger to include retribution and vengeance and retaliation and wrath.The topic loomed over me as impossible to grasp in a single brief class period. Finally, God helped me to narrow my focus to the courtroom scene at the end of Romans 8. Who dares accuse God’s children? God the Father? No! He is the judge. Who dares accuse us? Does Jesus? No! He is our defense attorney, the one who justifies us!
Our accuser is Satan. He takes the role of the prosecutor. Anyone can bring charges, true or false, against another person in a court of law. Here we see the final scene in the courtroom.
Here Satan sums up his case against God’s people:
Satan: As we sum up today’s trial, Your Honor, I first issue a challenge. I place on record my disapproval for this entire process. Everyone in this courtroom recognizes that you are related to the counsel for the defense. He is Your Son and, given that relationship, You should recuse Yourself as presiding judge for this trial.
God: Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? (Job. 38:2)
The only response to your charge is that there is no other qualified judge. I am the First and the Last. I alone am qualified. (Is. 41:4)
Before Me, there was no other judge and there will be none after Me. (Is. 43:10)
I alone speak justice, declaring things that are upright. (Is. 45:19)
Do you still want to argue with the Judge? (Job. 40:1)
Or do I find you in contempt of the court?
Satan: No, Your Honor. That will not be necessary. I will proceed to sum up my case.
Your Honor, these people standing before you are filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, malice. They overflow with envy, murder, strife, deceit, and, again I say, malice. They are gossips, slanderers. They hate You, Your Honor. They are insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, and disobedient to their parents. They are without excuse, without an alibi. The justice of God rightly falls on all those who practice such things.” (Rom. 1:29-2:1)
There is not one righteous, not even one. There is none who understands, not one who seeks Your approval, Your Honor, All have turned aside, together they have become useless.There is not one – not one! – who does good, not even one. (Rom 3:10-12)
All of them have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)
So now I demand justice. Your own laws make it clear. Your own Word declares that the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)
These aforementioned crimes are sins, and therefore I demand the death penalty.
Scriptures say, your decrees cannot be changed (Ps. 93:5).
Where is the “God of Justice”? (Mal. 2:17)
Arise, I say! Punish the wicked! (Ps. 10:12) I rest my case.
God: I thank you for summing up your case. Before we move on, however, I remind you that vengeance is mine, and mine alone. (Rom. 12:19)
And now to hear from the defense.
Jesus: I admit that some of what my opponent has said is true.
Your judgment rightly falls on those who do these things he has listed…those who practice unrighteousness, those who are filled with malice, murder, envy and strife. (Rom. 2:2)
Furthermore, I agree that You, Your Honor, are righteous, and You love justice and only those who do what is right will live to see Your face. (Ps. 11:7)
Nevertheless, the lips of a “lawyer,” such as my opponent here, should preserve knowledge but you, Satan, you have turned aside and caused many to stumble. (Mal. 2:7,8)
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. (Is. 5:20-21)
You yourself are a liar and have been a murderer from the beginning. When you spin lies, you are speaking your native language. (Jn. 8:44)
God: Sustained. Council, we will not allow name calling in this courtroom, even if the label is true.
Jesus: I move on. I stand here today to defend these standing in chains before you, Your Honor. My opponent is right when he says the wages of sin is death, but he failed to quote the second half of the sentence: The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. (6:23)
“In Christ Jesus.” That means I have already paid their debt in full. You, Your Honor, demonstrated Your love towards these standing here in that before they ever acknowledged their offenses, You allowed Me to die for them. (Rom. 5:8)
Having been justified now by My blood, they are saved from Your wrath through My sacrifice. (Rom. 5:9)
You gave them to me, and no one, not even Satan, can snatch them out of my hand. (Jn. 10:28, 29)
“No one will snatch them away from me, for You, Your Honor,gave them to me, and You are more powerful than anyone else.So no one can take them from me. You and I are one.”
You, Your Honor, are just and the justifier of the one who has faith in me. (Rom. 3:26)
These people standing in chains are justified already by faith, apart from the Law. (3:28)
I rest my case.
God: I have seen the violence done to the helpless and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them as they have longed for me to do. (Ps. 12:5)
Despite all the sins and indictments and charges laid against these standing here, overwhelming victory is theirs through Christ who loved them. (Rom. 8:37)
Therefore I declare in favor of the defense.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1)
A final note to the reader: Look at the charges that Satan levels against the believers. He throws mud at us but some of it sticks. Which of these charges apply to you? Why not take a a moment and kneel before God’s tribunal? Pray and ask His forgiveness. And then rise to walk in freedom with thanks. “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”!