Our God Gets It
Monday - September 28th
Scripture to Read Today: Hebrews 4:14-16
Our Intercessor: Personally understanding our trials and temptations, God the Son pleads our case before the Father
Day 28 of 30 Days of the Names and Attributes of God
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace
to help us in our time of need.
I-77 merges for a short period with I-81 near Wytheville, Virginia. The convergence of these two major east coast interstates provides plenty of opportunities for the local county sheriff's department to issue many speeding tickets to out of state travelers. Let me say at the outset of the rest of this story, I may have been speeding eighteen years ago, but it was only five to seven miles per hour over the speed limit. With Lesli and our three young children asleep, I reached the stretch of highway where the two interstates became one. You guessed it. I soon saw the flashing lights of a deputy's cruiser. Knowing others were flying past me, I pulled over to get out of the officer's way. I quickly discovered that I was his target. This disruption would delay our vacation plans by a few minutes.
He told me that I had been going 77 miles per hour in a 55 mph stretch of interstate. I politely said to him that I could not have been going that fast since I was using my cruise control, which was set to a much lower number. He firmly believed he had the right car. As he went back to his car to write up the ticket, Megan, who was about three years old at the time and had been awakened with her siblings and mother by the sirens, tried to comfort me. She blurted out from her car seat behind me as the deputy went back to his car, "Don't worry, Daddy. Someday we will all forget that this ever happened." Her comment did lighten my attitude when the deputy returned to give me the speeding ticket.
The deputy informed me that going 20 mph over the speed limit in Wythe County, Virginia was a criminal offense equal to drunk driving or reckless driving. He said that I had to appear in court two weeks later to have a judge reduce the criminal fine of $2,500 and the up to 30 days in jail. To this day, I know that I was not going more than five or six miles per hour over the speed limit. So, discovering the seriousness of the offense made my indignation all that much stronger.
Two weeks later, I traveled to Wytheville. At the courthouse, I joined a line waiting for the building to be unlocked. Once inside the courthouse, I sat with dozens of others in a courtroom waiting for our judge. He appeared about 30 minutes late. He apologized, saying they had an early morning birthday party for another judge, which delayed him. The fact that I was hours away from home, waiting out a birthday party for a judge, and about to be answering to this judge for a criminal speeding offense made his apology anything but welcome in my mind.
The judge shared some basic instructions on how he would proceed with the 35-50 of us who would appear before him that morning. My name got called relatively quickly. Five others were also called up to the judge's bench. He read each of our offenses out loud. They were all drunk driving charges but mine. He read my charge as "criminal reckless and negligent driving." A few people pushed back. The judge would have none of it. He gave people stern warnings that if they tried to say they were not guilty of the charges, he would give all of us the maximum fines and jail time associated with our offenses.
I had spent the whole two weeks preparing my argument about how the deputy had pulled over the wrong car that night. He had the wrong guy. It became apparent that I should say nothing. When the judge directly addressed me, he reduced my charge and gave me a penalty of $250 and no jail time. The reduction of the charges was contingent on my completion of a reckless driving class in Wytheville in the next few months. I paid the fine. I attended the course. I still believe I was not the car the deputy clocked at 77 miles per hour that night. But, no one seemed to care. No one stood up for me in that courtroom.
That feeling of having no one as my advocate standing before my judge helped me grasp what it means that Christ advocates and intercedes for me before His Father. The writer of the Book of Hebrews explained that we have a high priest, an advocate, an intercessor who pleads our case before the Father. He intercedes for us based on His finished work on the cross. In Hebrews 4:14-16, we learn that Jesus is a great advocate because He lived in human flesh. God the Son knows what it means to suffer and to be tempted. He did not fall to temptation, but He gets it. Jesus understands the challenges of living in a broken, sinful world. He is the perfect advocate. He is the best Intercessor we could ever have.
Today, as you cry out to the Lord in your suffering or because of your sin, remember that your God gets it. He knows what you have gone through, are going through, and will go through. He pleads your cause by His blood before God the Father today!
That day in Wytheville, as I stood before the judge, no one understood. No one advocated for me. No one interceded on my behalf. But, before the ultimate judge, my Savior intercedes for me. That gives me complete hope and confidence as I seek to live and love like Jesus!
As you go about your day today, remember that Jesus is interceding before God the Father on your behalf!