–One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them.
–Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one–for God himself has given us right standing with himself.
–Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last–salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth–the one who accuses them before our God day and night.”
1 John 2:1
–. . .but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. His is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.
I approach the throne of God; trembling from head to toe, I want with everything in me to turn and flee the scene, but I am compelled to move forward. It’s Judgement Day, and it’s my turn to face Perfection.
I stumble before the throne, not daring to look at the One who sits thereon. I fall to my knees and lie, dead-like, hoping against hope that maybe He won’t notice me, maybe. . .no, it is futile. I can feel his powerful gaze boring through my back, and I dare not move, dare not speak. I am terrified. I want to be anywhere but here.
And then an uncomfortable electricity stirs throughout the room, and I instinctively know what is happening.
I dare to sneak a peek at him. We make eye contact, and his smirk tells me what we both know. “You’re screwed.”
I try to shrink smaller, but that terrible holy gaze is pinning me to the floor as effectively as a spear through the heart.
The Accuser moves to the front of the line and, with dramatic flair, unfurls a sheaf of paper that hits of the floor and rolls. . .and rolls. . .and rolls, until the end falls out of sight. If this wasn’t eternity, we would be dead before he finished reading it all.
The Accuser is enjoying his moment in the spotlight. He clears his throat, coughs. . .and begins.
“Your Honor,” he addresses the Holy One, his voice thick with mockery, “this piece of worthless humanity stands before you accused of. . .” He glances at the list, whistles. “This is going to take awhile, your Honor.”
The Holy One shifts his gaze to Satan, who coughs and quickly moves on.
“Yes. . .well, shall we begin?”
The gaze falls back on me and holds me in place as each item is read off the list, an airborne death sentence. I cringe as jealousy, pride, anger, pride, lust, pride, envy, pride, selfishness, pride, self-righteousness, pride, denial of sin. . .the list takes forever. There is no room for denial of sin now.
I know that as each word is read off the list, it lands on me like soot, covering me in filth. The Holy One still stares, though I cannot imagine how He can stand to look at me. I am wretched, utterly disgusting, unworthy. . .evil clings to me like an old friend, and I can’t shake it off; it belongs there.
The Accuser is thorough. Sins of thought, sins of action, sins of omission and commission. . .How did I not realize how bad I was before? It takes forever, and just moments, all at the same time.
“. . .and furthermore, Your Honor,” Satan finishes with a flourish, “even if this repulsive sewer rat hadn’t done all these things, she was born unworthy, and You know it as well as I do.” Satan’s voice drops to a hiss as he addresses both God and myself simultaneously. “She’s mine, God.” His glee is as apparent as my terror.
I can hardly breath. It’s true. I know it’s true. The gaze on me is simultaneously stern and. . .oh, heartbreakingly sad. He hates that this has to happen, but my very being is noxious to the Holy One before me. He can’t stand the sight of me. I am unworthy, and I am going to get exactly what I deserve. The Holy One opens His mouth, and I hold back tears, knowing that He has no choice but to condemn me.
And then. . .
“Wait.” The voice makes my heart skip a beat. I dare not look up, but it sounds. . .familiar, somehow. It is calm, confident, and carries a note of hope; I hold my breath.
I hear another Person walk through the room. Satan draws back with a hiss. The tension in the room is palatable.
“It’s true,” the Person says. He stops in front of me, and I take a peek at his feet. They’re gnarled and ugly, misshapen from the holes that pierce them. “Lauren has done everything you say.”
He knows my name? I dare not hope. . .but oh. . .oh, please. . .
“But Satan,” The voice is. . .smiling? “You missed something.”
“I didn’t.” Satan is defiant. “She’s mine. She’s a disgrace.”
“Stop.” The voice commands. “No, Satan. No. She’s not yours. Lauren believes in me, and you can’t have this one.”
I hear the Person kneel; a hand strokes my back, and with each stroke I feel the evil that clings there slip off. Trembling, I dare to glance up and my breath catches as we make eye contact. I feel small and weak, but the depth of love in that gaze dissipates my fear. I look down and see that He, this Person, is holding the blackness that covered me. Oh my God, how can it be?