When I stood before the judge
Last Tuesday, I gave evidence in court for an asylum seeker in our church.
Beforehand, his barrister ran through how I should address the judge. When I entered court, she was sat up high, as if on a throne.
I was in the presence of someone with power to decide the future of my friend’s life. So I felt a degree of respectful fear.
Awe, I guess.
Having said my bit, I moved to the back of court to take my seat. As I took a breather, I was struck by something obvious.
This judge was a mere human. One day she’ll walk into the eternal court, to appear before the God who has the just authority to determine her future (Hebrews 9:27).
Do I ever feel even an ounce of fear before this God? (Psalm 89:7).
Especially when I naturally fall on the wrong side of God’s law. I have no defence (Romans 3:19).
I am guilty.
We can quickly jump to Christ’s sacrifice, who died to take our guilt on himself. He took our penalty so we’ll be judged innocent (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This act of love is awesome.
But we’ll only grasp how awesome it is if first we’re in awe of God, the Holy Judge. Only if we know something of what Isaiah experienced when he faced him.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” Isaiah 6:5
Isaiah stood in awe. And his awe only increased when this Judge took his guilt away so that he could stand there, not as ruined, but restored (Isaiah 6:7).
In Christ, we are no longer ruined but restored. Isaiah's judge is our God. And because of Jesus, we call him Father (Romans 8:15).