Judge and Jury
Years ago, I did something for the first time that I had wanted to do ever since my twelfth grade government class—I served on a jury. On the day I received the summons letter, I was so happy, because this was something of which I had dreamed. In fact, at one point in my youth, I thought I would become a lawyer. As many others, I have enjoyed reading John Grisham’s novels dealing with court drama. I admit that I had watched most of OJ Simpson’s trial. I like learning about the justice system. Thus, in serving as a member of a county grand jury, I had learned several lessons.
First, I remembered how wicked this world is. We hear or read of the crimes that people commit wherever we live, but I have not had the opportunity to become involved firsthand with the crimes of my local area until then. What a thrilling responsibility to participate in the criminal justice system. Not only did we hear many cases, but also during our lunch break, the officers gave us a tour of the county jail facility. Thus, we heard and saw many individuals who committed crimes of all sorts and stripes. This is a wicked, wicked world (Rom. 3:23).
Second, before the court sessions began that particular morning, all the potential jurors, including myself, waited in the courtroom for the judge to arrive. I scanned the crowd and saw a variety of individuals. A few I had known, but the majority was strangers. The crowd contained a variety of races, religions and such like. This scene reminded me a tiny sliver of a scene of Judgment Day. When that day arrives, all of us will gather before the Judge (Matt. 25:31-32). No one will be exempt.
Third, while I appreciated the knowledge that I was making a difference in the judicial system of my fellow citizens, it impressed upon me further the fact that I am thankful that I will not serve as judge or jury over the eternal destiny of anyone. I am thankful that I will stand before a Judge who is described as “righteous” (1 Tim. 4:8). Abraham asked the rhetorical question, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). I know that He will be fair and merciful. I know the conditions upon which He will judge my works and my soul (John 5:22-39). Thanks be unto God that He has ordained Jesus Christ to serve as both Judge and Jury in the Day of Judgment (Acts 17:30-31; 2 Cor. 5:10; 2 Tim. 4:1).
The psalmist stated,
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. (Ps. 96:12-13)
Let us all be prepared to meet our Judge and Jury!