For the Kingdom of Heaven is Like...

Our pastor has been preaching a sermon series on what the kingdom of heaven is like, using as his text, inter alia, the parables in the book of Matthew. At the end of one of his sermons, he asked us to write our own parable using our occupations, capacities as parents, or grandparents, etc. as the basis for our own parable.

For example, a teacher's might begin, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a classroom..." Naturally, I thought, "Church assignment...blog post." And thus, a snippet of the gospel according to Peter (red-letter edition):

 William Blake Satan Smiting Job

William Blake Satan Smiting Job

...and Jesus said, "For the kingdom of heaven is like a court of law, where the accuser very thoroughly and convincingly builds a case against the accused. He presents the evidence to the jury bit by bit, witness after witness.

Pointing to the one on trial, the prosecutor boastfully argues to the jury:

'Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this poor excuse for a human being has committed heinous violations of the most holy law.

He has placed other gods before the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

He has made idols of innumerable persons and things.

He has taken the Lord's Name in vain countless times.

He has never kept the Sabbath holy, defiling it at every opportunity.

He has dishonored his father and mother all of his life.

According to the very words of God's own Son, he has committed murder and adultery. Repeatedly!

This man is a thief, a liar, and a coveter. A worse human being has never been created. This man is guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

And justice requires that he be punished!'

There is no defense to present. The jury, horrified by the actions of the accused, quickly returns a verdict of 'guilty,' fully expecting the Judge to impose the stiffest sentence possible: an eternity in the lake of fire.

The Judge turns to the accused and says, 'Is there anything you have to say for yourself before sentence is imposed?'

The accused, still bound and shackled, bows his head in shame knowing there is nothing he can say in defense of these accusations.

But, quietly and confidently, the advocate for the accused stands, and, placing his hand on the accused's shoulder, says:

'Your Honor, I stepped out of heaven and became flesh. I was born to a human mother. I was raised by a human father. I spent my life teaching humanity about You.

I was hated. Mocked. Spat upon. I was imprisoned, scourged, and tried before a sham court. I was convicted, sentenced to death, and crucified, all so that this man and others like him would not have to endure the same.

Three days later I rose again, having paid in full the price for all human sin. It is true, this man is guilty of all of those things. And more.

But, what you have required of this man is this: that he believe in Me and what I did for him and others like him, that it would not have been done in vain.

Your Honor, the only thing I can say in defense of this man is that he believes.

I have paid his debt. I have endured his punishment. His sentence has been imposed, his time has been served.

Ought not this man, being a son of Abraham, whom this accuser has bound, be acquitted and loosed from this bondage? Ought not this man be set free?'

The Judge, robed in pristine white, leans forward, looks at the accused, smiles, and says, 'You are free.'"

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The Big Sin Meme