I was summoned to jury duty a few weeks ago. I was to appear on this past Monday morning at 8:30am to fulfill my civic duty by serving on a jury in a county court trial. This is the 3rd time I’ve been summoned to jury duty but I’ve been exempted the previous two times for various and sundry things. At the first, I was a full-time student. The second, I had moved and no longer lived in that county. This time, however, there was no getting out. I was qualified, no exemptions. To be honest, I’ve never had to serve so I was intrigued by the opportunity to see the process play out.
During the “voir dire” phase of jury questioning, we heard from both attorneys about the case. They were questioning us regarding any biases or preconceived notions that would affect our ability to deliberate the evidence and come to a verdict. I can’t go into any details about the case but each attorney made plain that the judge would read to us the law and based on the evidence presented in the case, we would have to decide who was “more at fault.” He kept asking this question, “Once the judge reads the law, you have to decide whether or not you’ll obey the law. Will you chose to obey or disregard the law?“
What kind of question is that? Of course I want to obey the law! Honestly, I was a little put off by the question. As I pondered the question, I thought about the other times in my life I’ve been well aware of the law but chose to disobey. I know the posted speed limit, but I usually drive a few miles over. I don’t always wear my seatbelt. But even more than that, let’s zoom out a bit. How am I doing on that question spiritually?
God revealed His law through the Scriptures. We have no excuse. His law is made plain and clear on the pages of the Bible. But, how often do I disregard it? How many times, by deliberate choice, have I gone against God’s law? Too many to count, of that I’m sure. There are so many things that I know I shouldn’t do but yet I continue down the path against God’s law. Simple things like pride, guarding my heart, watching my mouth.
Even more clear in the Scriptures is the Day of Judgment. The day when there will be no jury, no attorneys, only One Righteous Judge. I already know the verdict. There is but one Hope for me and all those who disobeyed. The Apostle Paul puts it this way,
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
(Romans 7:24-25 ESV)
Only Jesus can save me from this life of disobedience, for all those times I knew the law and yet chose against it. Only Christ and His blood shed on the Cross is my help.
Thanks to jury duty and an attorney’s questions to remind me of grace and the freedom I have in Christ!