In June of 1962 Clarence Earl Gideon wrote a note asking the Supreme Court of the United States to review his case. Gideon had been convicted of a crime that he did not commit largely in part due to the fact that he did not have the means to hire a lawyer to defend himself. One year later, in 1963, the supreme court ruled that people who cannot afford the cost of their own defense would be given a public defender (an advocate) which would be provided by the state. After this landmark decision by the Supreme Court, Gideon was retried and acquitted.
I cannot imagine being accused of a crime that I did not commit. It would be very emotional and difficult. I believe I would be frustrated, angry, and hurt all at the same time. Then, due to no fault of my own, I would be thrown into a completely unfamiliar realm of the courtroom. The only thing I know about courtrooms is the little bit I have picked up on watching tv shows and movies...most of which is likely not realistic. I don’t know the specifics of the laws. I don’t know the language that Judges and attorneys use. The difficulty of being accused of a crime is compounded due to the necessity of having to defend ones self.
Thankfully, since 1963 in our country, any person who is accused of a crime has the right to have an attorney whether they can afford one or not. They are appointed this attorney who knows the ins and outs of the court. This attorney knows the laws, how to speak to the judge and jury, the language and jargon necessary to get their message across. This attorney can sit down with me and get my side of the story. This lawyer can tell me the meaning of things that are happening in the court room. This lawyer can take my case and present it to the court in a way that it will most effectively defend me.
1 John 2:1-2 describes Jesus as my advocate. He is the one who goes between me and God. Jesus is the one who takes my case to God and pleads my case. However, there are several major differences between Jesus as my advocate and a lawyer as my advocate. When I am accused and Jesus takes my case to God, I am ALWAYS guilty. God doesn’t hold us accountable for sins that are not our own, so if I am being held accountable, I am guilty. Also, Jesus has already paid the price for my sins. Jesus came to earth, lived as man, lived perfectly, and died to pay the price for my sins. Therefore Jesus is able to take our case before God and plead our case having already paid the price for our sins. Jesus goes between man and God as an advocate. Jesus is the most qualified attorney that ever will be. When we turn to Jesus as our attorney, He always gets an acquittal.