The George Zimmerman trial is over. I think there is a mixture of outrage and relief in the nation, a strange combination of everyone can finally breathe and every breath hurts. It’s a sad night.
One of the things that I keep seeing as I’m reading about different reactions is an extreme hatred for defense attorneys. People are saying:
How can defense attorneys live with themselves?
How do these defense guys sleep at night?
There’s a special place in hell for defense lawyers!
I’ve noticed that people who are feeling morally superior are generally the ones who are doing all the hating of defense attorneys. People who feel like they are so good that they would never need defending. People who feel so far removed from court, from jail, from accusations that they think only lowlifes would need those guys.
But, I’ve never seen a guy sitting in court with a defender at his side say a word about how much he hates being defended. Never in my life have I seen an interview after an acquittal where the defendant spouts off about what a scumbag his attorney was, or how ignoble the profession is.
Just once, I would like to see someone who needs a defense attorney refuse one on moral grounds. I would like to see him tell the judge, “You see, Your Honor, I don’t believe in being defended.” But, that’s not going to happen.
No, when we are in trouble, when we are accused, we want someone to stand up for us and defend us. We want to be rescued in some way. We want help. And, it doesn’t matter if we are innocent. It doesn’t matter if we knowingly committed the crime. It doesn’t matter if it was an accident. We want someone to stand up for us and say that we were falsely accused or that we were confused or at least that we aren’t THAT bad. We don’t like being in trouble. And we don’t like being judged.
I think that humans respond to God very much the same way they respond to defense attorneys. In our lost state, we have hard and dark hearts. Yet, we convince ourselves that we are good people. We are morally superior. We hate being judged by a holy God. We scoff at Jesus, our only defense. We call those who feel they need Him weak. We claim that the entire system of salvation that God designed is imaginary, that it is unjust, that it is a joke.
But, one day, maybe soon, we will all face that holy God. And we will need a defender. In those terrifying moments, we will not longer scoff at the idea of Jesus as our rescuer. We will beg for a defender. But, it will be too late. God will remind us that we refused our defense. We came to court with no help. We let man-made morality and false ideas of goodness convince us that we were ok. And we will be banished forever from the presence of any kind of help or kindness or light or goodness.
All because we didn’t think we needed defending.
Well, George Zimmerman isn’t hating defense attorneys tonight. He will sleep in his own bed, a free man, remembering forever the power of a good defense. I pray that if you haven’t accepted the fact that you, too, need defending that you would call out right now to the only help we have in this universe: Jesus Christ. He is so much more than the defense we’ll need when we meet God. He is a hero, a friend, a servant, and the King of Kings. As defense attorneys go, He’s the best of the best. As Saviors go, He’s the only one we’ll ever need.
And, we all need Him.