GABRIEL: All rise! The court of Heaven is now in session. The Honorable Judge Jehovah now presiding.
(God steps to the bench.)
GOD: Be seated. What’s the case, Gabriel?
GABRIEL: Lucifer vs. Joseph Jones, Your Honor.
GABRIEL: Lucifer will be acting on his own behalf for the prosecution. Jesus Christ is counsel for the defendant.
GOD: Very well. Opening statements?
LUCIFER: Your Honor, I intend to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the defendant is legally bound to eternal servitude and torment with me in the lake of fire and brimstone.
JESUS: Thank You, Your Honor. It is my intent to prove that my client’s contract with the prosecution has been voided and that he is furthermore under no legal obligations whatsoever.
GOD: Thank you, gentlemen. Will the prosecution call its first witness?
LUCIFER: Yes, Your Honor. Prosecution calls Joseph Jones to the stand. (Joe takes the stand.) Mr. Jones, would you consider yourself to have been a good person on Earth?
JOE: I suppose so.
LUCIFER: I see. What would you say made you a good person?
JOE: Well, I guess I gave to the poor, volunteered at church and put money in the offering plate.
LUCIFER: Interesting. Your Honor, I wish to submit a couple of Scriptures as Exhibits A & B, and may I remind the court that these came from the mouth of Your Honor Himself.
LUCIFER: Thank You. Now, Romans 3:10 states that ‘There is no one righteous, no not one’, and verse 23 of the same chapter says that ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. Is it not true, Mr. Jones, that while you were doing your good deeds you were also going to parties, drinking, getting high and sleeping around with every woman you could find? Huh? Is it or is it not true?
JESUS: Objection, Your Honor! Prosecution is badgering the witness.
GOD: Sustained. You’ve made your point, counselor.
LUCIFER: Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Jones, were you aware of the Scriptures I just mentioned?
JOE: Yes, I was.
LUCIFER: Well, then perhaps you were also aware of Romans 6:23, which I now submit as Exhibit C. It reads, ‘For the wages of sin is death’. I think we’ve established your guilt, and now we see the consequences you must face. No further questions, Your Honor.
GOD: Very well. Would the Defense care to cross-examine?
JESUS: Yes, Your Honor. Mr. Jones, who am I?
JOE: You’re Jesus the Christ, my Savior and Lord.
JESUS: Savior? What have I saved you from?
JOE: Sin and death.
JESUS: You mean the very sin and death the prosecutor just spoke of?
JESUS: Hmm. How did I do that?
LUCIFER: Objection! Counsel is leading the witness.
JESUS: I’m merely establishing my case, Your Honor.
GOD: I’ll allow it. Objection overruled. Answer the question, young man.
JOE: You saved me by dying on the cross of Calvary and rising on the third day.
JESUS: Your Honor, I wish to finish the quote started by the prosecution and submit it as Exhibit D. Romans 6:23 says, ‘The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’. Furthermore, I submit as Exhibit E Romans 10:13, which clearly states, ‘Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved’. It is obvious from these Scriptures that my client is under no obligations to the prosecution.
LUCIFER: Objection, Your Honor! This is speculation. Counsel’s death and resurrection have not proven His client’s acceptance and salvation.
GOD: Sustained. I’ll need more evidence, counselor.
JESUS: Very well. No further questions.
GOD: You may step down, young man. (Joe sits back down.) Would the prosecution care to call its next witness?
LUCIFER: Prosecution rests, Your Honor.
JESUS: Your Honor, at this time I would like to call Gabriel the archangel to the stand. (Gabriel takes the stand.) How long have you been working for Heaven, Gabriel?
GABRIEL: Oh, I guess since before Creation.
JESUS: Wow! That long? What would you say is the best part of your job?
GABRIEL: Well, I would have to say the parties.
JESUS: Parties? In Heaven?
GABRIEL: Oh, yeah! We have them every time someone accepts You as Savior.
JESUS: And I’m glad you do. Your Honor, I submit Luke 15:10 as Exhibit F, which reads, ‘Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents’. Now, Gabriel, with the countless millions of names of repentant sinners over the years, do you find it hard to keep track of all of them?
GABRIEL: Not at all. Each one is special to God, and He enables us to remember each name and face.
JESUS: Really? Do you recognize my client?
GABRIEL: Definitely! I even remember the prayers of his family. He came in under the wire, but he made it.
JESUS: I have no further questions, Your Honor.
GOD: You may step down, Gabriel. Defense?
JESUS: Defense rests, Your Honor.
GOD: Very well. It is hereby the decision of this court to render a verdict of ‘Not Guilty’. Welcome to Heaven, Joseph.