Jesus Our Advocate
Recently, God used a self-induced crisis to reveal to me what it means to have Jesus as our Advocate. I had made a huge mistake. Out of over-confidence and laziness, I did not do my due diligence in getting the approvals I needed to book a trip to Israel. My wife, Marianna Marques ’23, and I stood to lose about $7,000 and a travel dream we had. When I saw the consequences I was facing, I was mortified. “How could I have been so careless?” I wondered. I was panicking, and I didn’t know what to do.
Emergencies were the only exception to the needed approvals, and my negligence was not an emergency. I knew “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NASB). But how could that be in my case when I had clearly messed up?
Marianna was confident that God would “part the Red Sea.” But I was struggling. I doubted I could get an exception to an exception. And, mainly, I doubted because it was my fault. I made a mistake. Part of me believed I was going to have to live with the (costly) consequences of my sin. Still, I submitted an exception request.
First John 2:1b (NASB) says, “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” I knew this, but that knowledge was far from my heart in this moment of struggle. During my time with God, however, He spoke to me. He made this promise real to me. I journaled what He put on my heart:
Jesus is our advocate. He is literally our lawyer. When you mess up, He does the legwork, He makes appeals, He files motions, and He defends us even when we were wrong because of His grace, empathy and forgiveness. How much better to have Jesus as our lawyer than the greatest Harvard mind. He is the fulfiller of the Law, and He is actively fighting for us. There is a real, perfect Man fighting for us in every case, even small claims. He is our Lawyer on retainer and He bills every hour of the day. And He has another advantage. He is the Son of the Judge! He advocates for us to be judged by the Law of mercy because our Lawyer already paid every penalty. Even when we are guilty of messing up, the verdict is not guilty. And He has a host of angels to enforce His verdict. He has never lost a case. Imagine; the God of the universe is our personal lawyer.
A peace about the situation rested on me. I had already repented for my booking mistake, but this time I repented for doubting God. Instead, I chose to put my trust in Him. How could I expect to lose? Jesus was advocating for me. I knew it would get approved. And it did! Israel here we come. Glory to God!
Even when we are seeking God with all our heart, we can still make mistakes. We are not bound to a sinful lifestyle because Jesus freed us from a life full of sin, but if we mess up, we have His mercy. He advocates for us if we stumble, and His advocacy reminds us of lawyers’ responsibility to advocate for those in need.
Run to Him! He will set you free from a life of sin. He will be your Advocate and will empower you to advocate for others.