Judged Innocent

One of the common complaints against Christians is the appearance of what seems to be a double-standard.  They teach and preach holiness and high standards, but it is clear they are far from perfect themselves.  In other words – they are hypocrites.

And while there are probably a few hypocrites in the bunch (actually, there are a few in every bunch), for the most part they are not.  There is another explanation for the apparent dysfunction we see between what is taught or projected and the flaws we sometimes see in their lives.

In order to get to the root of this issue, one must understand what it means to be redeemed, to be forgiven, or to use the title – what it means to be judged innocent.

About the only way to explain this is to use some sort of illustration.  If I commit a crime and am arrested, and eventually appear for trial there will be evidence submitted for both the prosecution and defense.  The jury will weigh the evidence, the testimony, and come to a verdict.  In this hypothetical case the jury foreman might say – “We find the defendant GUILTY.”  Typically, that would be the end of that segment and I would then await sentencing for my crime.  But, in the strange case I’m trying to illustrate, there is another twist to the story.  Before the judge passes final judgment, a person stands up and says, “Wait!  I’m the guilty party.”  In my story, the blame passes from me to this new person, and they receive the jury’s verdict and subsequent punishment.  I am judged innocent, and can go free, because someone else has confessed and taken my place.

Of course, this is just a hypothetical, but it does illustrate some important points.

  1. Although I have been judged innocent, and will not face judgment, it does not remove the fact I’m the one who committed the crime.
  2. Being judged innocent does not remove who I am, or my actions.  It, however, removes my guilt, shame, and judgment.

So, when a Christian stumbles and falls, it is to the non-believer clear evidence of hypocrisy, when really, it is simply a reminder of our humanity, and the fact we are not yet perfect.

Of course, criticism does not come only from the non-believers.  The sad truth is that some criticism comes from within the family of God.  Why would one criticize another?

There are probably a number of reasons, but here are just a few:

  • Jealousy – they get the praise and recognition, and now that they have stumbled we are happy, because they have been brought down a peg or two.
  • Comparison – I’m so glad they have fallen, because it shows that I’m better than they are.

The reality is that Christians are not perfect, they are forgiven.  They have been judged innocent by the blood of Jesus Christ.  When judgment was being passed on us, He stood up and said, “I committed the crime.  Punish me instead, and let these go free.”

So, although I’ve been judged innocent of the crime, and have been forgiven, I still bear the marks and scars of past crimes.  It is not in my best interest to dwell on these things, but to look forward, and push ahead to better things.  And when I see a fellow traveler that has marks and scars I recognize it is best for me to lift them up and not put them down.  Understanding, that while they are not perfect, neither am I.

One Response to “Judged Innocent”

  1. Bea McGuire Says:

    Such a great blog and a reminder of what Christ did for us! Blessings….

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