"Not Guilty"

Rodlie Ortiz— July 18, 2013

“We, the jurors, find George Zimmerman, not guilty…”

And with that, an end to a saga that has divided so many in our country. 

It’s a story about a thirty-something-year-old “white Hispanic” male, George Zimmerman, and a 17-year-old African American boy, Trayvon Martin. Trayvon had just come out of a 7-11 with a drink and some Skittles in hand and he soon began making his way home.

On the other side is George Zimmerman. In the media he was described as a “cop-wannabe,” leader of his volunteer neighborhood watch. It seems that his neighborhood had recently been vandalized, and so he was on high alert as he witnessed Trayvon walking through his neighborhood, his face partially covered by a hoodie. Thinking that perhaps Trayvon was up to no good, he called the police non-emergency line to get some help. 

This, of course, is where details get a little fuzzy. In the next few minutes that followed Zimmerman got out of his car, a confrontation took place, and Trayvon ended up dead, felled by a single bullet shot to the chest. Zimmerman claimed that Trayvon Martin attacked him, that he feared for his life, and that he shot him in self-defense. What exactly happened I suppose we’ll never know.

Whether you agree with the acquittal or not is beside the point of this blog post. 

What I’d like you to think about for a moment is the judgment that everyone on earth is soon going to face. To some it sounds scary. After all, the words from Ecclesiastes 12:14 do sound pretty serious: “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” But I do believe there is some good news that can be found in this judgment. 

The first piece of good news is that Jesus is the judge. Notice what John 5:22 says, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” So how does knowing that Jesus is my judge make a difference? Think about it this way. Once, when I was young, I was caught stealing candy from a grocery store. Because I was just five years old, the manager of Apple Valley entrusted the judgment to my father. This was good news to me because I knew that my father loved me and that he was just and fair. If Jesus is rendering the verdict, that’s really good news for all of us because He wants us to be saved!

The second piece of good news is that Jesus is also our defense attorney. Scripture uses the word “advocate.” Notice what 1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” In the Greek, the word advocate is parakletos, which means someone who comes beside you. In a legal sense, it’s someone who pleads your case before a judge and speaks on your behalf. This is good news! Jesus, the One who the book of Hebrews describes as the “author and finisher of our faith” is also our advocate and defense attorney.

So let the day of judgment come! Let the Righteous Judge take His seat. Jesus is presiding and He’s also our Advocate. Everything is stacked in our favor! How many can say amen to the results of that trial?