April 28th, 2012| Topic: RaMbLeS | 7


Ye olde city of Dallas invited me to sit on a jury the other day.

With the force of the law behind them, and threats of dire retribution in front, I was notified that they wanted me there, on that date, at that time, for that case.

I went, I sat, I was selected.

Voir dire, they call it. I don’t know why. It is a Latin/Old French legal phrase that means something like “tell the truth.” It is the process by which jurors are questioned about backgrounds and biases before being empaneled. I kept quiet. Tried to look invisible. (One of those deathly hallows borrowed from Mr. Potter, formerly of Hogwarts, would have been real useful here, I thought.) The long and short of it is that I was unsuccessful in pretending to be not there. Before I could stand up and claim that I would be utterly biased because I was a seminary professor who believed in the incarnation, resurrection, and all the assorted miracles performed by God and his agents, I was picked.

So much for clinics that afternoon. I had to cancel all my patients.

All because of the Sixth Amendment (1791) to the United States Constitution:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Yup, I was picked.

Quite an interesting affair, it was. Not the case. But the process and procedure, formality and finery, ritual and routine. Fascinating.

I was especially impressed with the flamboyant defense attorney who put on quite a show. He told stories. He swept all around the court. He flailed and bawled. He stared and grimaced. Fascinating.

(We convicted the defendant anyway!)

The defense attorney. He was somethin’ else.

I was also taken by the way he actually represented the defendant. When the defendant had to stand, the defense attorney stood with him. When the judge addressed the defendant, when the charges were read, when the verdict was announced, both stood. The defense attorney, in a more literal sense than usually understood, represented his client. For the purposes of the court, for the duration of the trial, they were, in a sense, one and the same.

Indeed, believers in Jesus Christ, those who have placed their trust in Jesus as their only God and Savior from sin, also have an advocate, a divine Advocate.

And if anyone sins,
we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous.
1 John 2:1

He is the one whose death and resurrection on the cross paid the price for the sins of believers.

… the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

And now, in the presence of God, He continues to be our intercessor, our advocate.

Therefore He is able also to save forever
those who draw near to God through Him,
since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:25

Indeed, our Defense Attorney, with us.

And they shall call his name “Immanuel,”
which means “God with us.”
Matthew 1:23

And He took on humanity.

He had to be made like His brethren in all things.
Hebrews 2:17

So that we might be saved. Declared righteous. And not condemned. Praise God!


  1. Char May 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Never mind moving from Dallas, because by the time I paid for parking I walked away with $3.00!

  2. Char May 4, 2012 at 8:28 am

    You are now a member of the juror’s club. Congratulations! It sounds like you might have made it through unscathed, mostly.
    I thought as a medical person I would never be seated on a medical mal-practice case and could go home with my $17.00 check. Au contraire! I traveled 2 hours per day for 3 weeks, only for the case to end and then immediately appealed and another set of 12 jurors and 2 alternates to hear what we heard all over again. I was crushed. What about all the time and work we had put in?
    I have been told that once you actually serve on a case, you are exempt for the rest of your life. I am not holding my breath.
    I thank God that He is my Defender, Advocate, Counselor, and my SUSTAINER even if I have to serve as a juror, again!
    Have a blessed day!

  3. Dick Tunney April 29, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Wonderful, Abe. And congratulations on the Mark commentary. While not a preacher myself, I will look forward to picking up a copy. BTW, I, too, have been called for jury duty a few times . . . twice for our local jurisdiction and one for federal court. Only got close to the jury box once and, sadly, I’ve found the failsafe way to not be selected. When the defense attorney asked how I felt about this case during the potential juror interview, I stated unequivocally that I didn’t want the best lawyering to win . . . I wanted the truth to be told. My next gesture was to reach for my car keys as I left the building.

  4. Caroline April 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    What a great story portraying the whole gig surrounding justification. Swells the soul.
    On the other hand, you should have worn shorts or something not so business casual. Might have changed the outcome. And how nice to have it be only one day.


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