TITLE: The Judge
By Jean Thornberry
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“All Rise!” All of Heaven rose in rapt attention.
“The Honorable Lord God Almighty will be presiding.”
All eyes fixed on me as the Judge approached His throne, my guilt painfully obvious to all in attendance.
Sheer terror gripped my pounding heart as I stood before the great assembly. Sweat poured down my face as I awaited my fate.
The Spirit of God had a laundry list of charges against me. These charges included high treason, blasphemy, and deceit. Each was punishable by death.
My body shook violently when I caught sight of the Judge. His very presence struck fear into my soul. What an awesome and terrifying sight!
A blinding white light enrobed Him. His eyes blazed with fire as He looked upon me. My conscience seared by his penetrating gaze. Every shameful secret laid bare before Him.
Stroking His cascading white beard, he read the charges. All of Heaven shook at His thunderous voice.
“How do you plead?”
“I see.” He said. “You realize the penalty?” There was a hint of sadness in His voice.
Choking back tears, I nodded my head.
“Let me conference your case for a few minutes. I’ll withhold judgment till then.”
He retreated to His chambers, leaving me in bone chilling suspense.
After just a few minutes, He emerged grasping a manila scroll tied with a crimson ribbon.
He smiled at me as He raised His gavel. “You have been found guilty. Therefore, in accordance with statute 777, I…..”
Before He could finish, I fled through the huge golden doors and escaped to Earth.
The Judge just shook His head and let out an exasperated sigh.
No sooner had I reached Earth when an ominous, black silhouette appeared behind me! It grew bigger and bigger the closer it approached. Two massive arms were held wide open, ready to consume me.
A shiver crawled up my spine. It was the Judge! “NO!” I screamed as I ran for cover.
“If only there was a dark cave I could hide in, then I would be safe!”
Instantly, I found myself inside the deepest, darkest cave! The entrance was sealed with a huge boulder. I breathed a sigh of relief. Safe at last!
Right on cue, those terrifying arms came right through the boulder! Goosebumps pimpled my arms as I frantically searched for a way out. I was trapped!
“If only I could be on the floor of the deepest ocean, then I would be safe!”
In a flash, I found myself on the ocean floor. The deep will surely hide me from His presence!
Suddenly, five ferocious sharks pursued me. Just when I was about to become fish food, the Judge appeared! The sharks quickly dispersed. He reached for me. Once again, I fled from His arms.
Water filled my lungs as I attempted to reach the surface. Panic engulfed me as I struggled to breathe. Everything went dark as I lost consciousness.
The shadow of the Judge hovered over me as I awoke on the shore. At that moment, Jeremiah 23:24 came to mind: “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?” declares the Lord. He used the cave and ocean floor to show me He is everywhere!
Realizing there was no escape, I turned toward Him. I winced, expecting to be crushed by His mighty right hand.
A warm, loving embrace greeted me. My jaw dropped. All this time I had been running from a hug! My eyes watered as I looked into His face. He gently wiped my tears away.
“Please don’t run from Me.” He said softly.
“But You were about to...”
“Pardon you!” He beamed. “You see, statute 777 states that I can free you if a guiltless person takes your place. Remember when I conferenced your case?”
With tears in His eyes, He said “I didn’t want you to die, so I asked my Son to take your place. He agreed. All you have to do is accept His payment on your behalf.”
He handed me that manila scroll with the crimson ribbon. My hands trembled as I unwrapped it. Every word was written in blood! I bawled as I read it:
I admit my guilt. I acknowledge that Christ has died in my place. Under statute 777, I accept His payment on my behalf. His blood absolves me of all guilt.
Tears of joy flowed from my eyes as I signed it.
Copyright 2008, Jean Thornberry. All rights reserved.
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