All of mankind has a problem. Every one of us has broken the law in one way or another during our lives. The Bible puts it this way, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. At the end of our lives we will each enter God’s courtroom for the final judgment. Matthew 12:36. At the prosecutor’s table will sit our accuser, Satan, with an indictment listing all our wrongs. For some he will have a long list, for others he will have an even longer list. But we all have a list.
The evidence the accuser presents will be conclusive, because we did, in fact, commit all those wrongs. Some of them seemed minor at the time, and some we didn’t even think about before doing. Others we knew were wrong, but we did them anyway. We can’t honestly deny our guilt.
So what shall we do in this situation? I suggest a really great defense attorney. The apostle John knew and recommended the best. “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1.
But what defense could Jesus possibly offer, you might ask, since we did commit the offenses we are charged with? Will he plead insanity on our behalf? Might he suggest we couldn’t help ourselves? Will he offer an alibi, say we were somewhere else when those sins were committed? Might he present evidence that it was someone else? What defense could we possibly have?
The answer, my friend, is double jeopardy. The doctrine of double jeopardy provides that a person cannot be twice convicted or punished for the same crime. In the United States, this defense is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. Other countries also guarantee this defense by constitution or statute. But for all people, this defense is available in God’s courtroom through Jesus Christ.
Jesus stand on our behalf and say, “Your Honor, the punishment for these sins has already been meted out. Judgment was rendered and the punishment handed down on the cross for every single offense on the accuser’s list.” Because of double jeopardy, we can’t be punished for it again. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2.
So do you have Jesus on retainer? Is he set to plead your case, to offer up for you the ultimate defense of double jeopardy, when the time comes for you to walk into God’s courtroom? His retainer is rather inexpensive—all you have to do is ask.