“Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
And my advocate is on high.
My friends are my scoffers;
My eye weeps to God.”
— Job 16:18-20
It’s nuts to represent yourself in court.
Any lawyer worth his salt will tell you it’s crazy to represent yourself in court, especially in a capital case. It never ends well.
Yet millions do just that when they die without a Savior/Advocate to represent them when they are called up before the Judgment seat of God. We are so cavalier about coming before the Holiest Being in the universe, foolishly thinking that since we’re such nice guys, God will be lucky to have us in His heaven.
What we need is an “attitude adjustment” about where we sinful creatures stand compared to our blindingly holy Creator. Here — in Revelation 1:9-20 — is one example of an encounter that one of the Bible’s “holiest” men had with God the Son:
“I, John … turned to see the voice that was speaking with me … I saw one like a son of man … His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze when it has been heated to a glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.
“When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.”
And John was one of Jesus’ closest friends and confidants!
The good news for John was that while Jesus appeared in His glory, He also came alongside John as his Advocate, saying effectively, “Do not be afraid John, I’ve got you covered — you have friends in high places.” This must have been music to John’s terrified ears.
Other holy men in scripture had glimpses of the holiness of God, namely, Isaiah (Isaiah 6) and Daniel (Daniel 10) and the results were always the same — they ended up on their faces fearing for their lives. How do you think it would be for us ordinary sinners to appear before God’s glory without protection?
One of the most comforting passages in all of scripture was penned by the same apostle, John, who once cried out, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.”
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:1-3)
In Britain, a lawyer is known as an advocate, standing before the bar in the place of the accused. Every Christian believer has Christ as their Advocate who stands before God on their behalf. Jesus also acts as our heavenly High Priest mediating between God and man: “Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:24-26)
This is why the apostle Paul could confidently write in Romans 8:33-37, “Who will bring charges against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, but rather, was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or trouble, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
How About You?
Do you still want to take your chances and just saunter up to heaven’s gates and demand admission on your own? Good luck.
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled, and no place was found for them … Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
— Revelation 20:11-15
— D.C. Collier is a Bible teacher, discipleship mentor and writer focused on Christian apologetics. A mechanical engineer and Internet entrepreneur, he is the author of My Origin, My Destiny, a book focused on Christianity’s basic “value proposition.” Click here for more information, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.