When a man is brought into a court of law and is arraigned, indicted, and brought to trial, there is always a body of evidence that follows him and points to his guilt. When he is finally brought before the judge and the jury it is this body of evidence that is appealed to. His character is not an issue in his guilt or innocence. Neither is his family ties, community service, nor even his religious affiliations or charitable deeds or contributions. He is to be judged on the basis of the body of evidence against him which is presented by the prosecution. Neither hearsay nor innuendo is admissible in a courtroom, it must be the cold hard facts that determine his guilt or innocence. Nor can anything which he might have done in his life which is contrary to his crime be brought forth in an effort to cancel the crime which he has committed.
It is the role of the prosecution to present the evidence of his guilt and why he should pay the price due for his crimes. It is the role of the defense to present the evidence of his innocence and why he should not be found guilty of a crime he did not commit. Now of course this is the way it works in an ideal system of justice, which our present worldly system is not. Sometimes those who are guilty are set free because of technicalities or the persuasive arguments of high paid liars (oops. I meant lawyers), that are able to obfuscate the facts and win the confidence of a jury even when they know that their client is guilty.
The scripture is quite clear that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23) If that is not enough, it is also quite clear that we are aware of our own sin even though we might like to cover it up. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” (Rom 2:14-15)
We were all actually born into sin and have inherited the nature of the children of wrath handed down to us through Adam. (see Eph.2:2,3). As soon as we were born we started to sin by telling lies. (see Ps.58:3) On top of that we are not only guilty because of the transgression of GOD’s law in every point, but even those acts which men might judge as kindness, decency, and morality or even sincere religious deeds, are in the sight of GOD as nothing but filthy rags (i.e.; menstruous cloths or pus-filled bandages). (see Isa.64:6) So much so that the scripture declares “There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Rom 3:10)
This is quite a daunting body of evidence against us. Even our own conscience testifies against us and there is none of our sinful race that could even plead our case since they are each one as marred and guilty as we and do themselves stand before the dock with innumerable crimes against them. Yet we are certain that we all must appear before the JUDGE of all the Earth to answer for the crimes we have committed in this body. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Heb 9:27)
There is coming a day when “God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Rom 2:16) Now how shall those who are already dead stand before HIM? The scripture says that “the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice”. (John 5:28) So there is to be general resurrection of all men both small and great that will bring them before the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE of all the earth.
Now while we are instructed that all men shall be raised from the grave, we are also told that they do not all come forth for the same reason or to the same end. “And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:29) So there is a resurrection of life and a resurrection of death. The moralists would have us believe that “those that have done good” is descriptive of men whose lives have been weighed and who have been discovered to be the doers of good deeds and on this basis to enter into life. Yet the scripture plainly says, ““There is none that doeth good” and then adds for emphasis “no, not one” (see Rom. 3:12). So that cannot be the true description of their “goodness”.
It is not difficult to discover those that have done evil and are worthy of death for that encompasses the whole human race. So there must be some explanation for these two resurrections and indeed there is. In order for all men to stand trial they must come into the courtroom with either a body of evidence that secures their everlasting doom or if some can be found, a body of evidence that declares their innocence and freedom from this curse.
Those who are brought forth to this awful bar of justice in the body of death in which they lived in this world and committed their crimes against the law of GOD come there not as the living but as the dead, reanimated simply to stand trial. No horror picture with numerous zombies milling about can even begin to match the true horrors of this scene as these men of flesh are each one judged guilty of the crimes committed in these bodies of evidence. Who among them can deny that this judgment is just or present one shred of righteousness which could offset the crimes they have committed? Their bodies of evidence have betrayed them and those deeds done in the flesh have overtaken them.
Yet just as awful as this scene is; complete with the shrieks, groans and cries of those cast into the lake of fire, there will also be at this same bar those who come there not in bodies of death but clothed in immortality and a righteousness so pure as to sparkle in the reflected glory of the ONE who has imputed HIS righteousness to them. They are referred to in the scriptures as the Elect, the chosen, the sons of GOD, yea even the Bride of CHRIST.
They are brought forth to the resurrection of LIFE for they have been appointed to life and given that life by the ONE who is the FIRST FRUITS of them that sleep. They possessed this life as a result of HIS quickening SPIRIT that first visited them when they were yet dead in trespasses and sins. That ONE who identified HIMSELF as the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. HE has appointed them to LIFE in the covenant of redemption established before the foundation of the world and now here at this judgement bar HE is pleased to manifest them as those who have never sinned but are clothed in a perfect RIGHTEOUSNESS that puts to silence any charge that could ever be brought against them. They stand justified at this bar.
So how came this to be so and how is it that men who by all rights should be destroyed are found not only not guilty of their crimes but come forth in a pure body of evidence. One word is used to describe it. GRACE. “For who maketh thee to differ from another and what hast thou that thou dids’t not receive?” (I Cor. 4:7) Yet the basis of their innocence in this court is not simply because of their relation to JESUS CHRIST as HIS sons and appointed heirs even though their relation to HIM is as old as time yea even before the foundation of the world. No, the very foundation of their innocence before the FATHER is found in the fact that JESUS CHRIST suffered in their behalf and paid their sin debt in the flesh, and completely fulfilled the law in their behalf in perfect obedience as their SUBSTITUTE. HE has taken away their sin in the flesh in the body of HIS flesh and now they are clothed in HIS purity.mam