I went to traffic court today, intent on fighting a ticket I received six months ago. I had done exactly what the officer said: failed to stop at a stop sign. My defense was that I never saw the sign or any other markings at the unlit, unusually wide intersection. I even had photos I’d taken with my cell phone to prove how dark it was.
I never got the chance to state my case. God stepped in, answering my prayer that the officer wouldn’t show up, and the judge said two of the most beautiful words in the English language: “Case dismissed.”
And that got me thinking about The Judgment Day I’ve been hearing about since I was a little kid. The one with movies but no popcorn, where all the sins of your whole life are shown in high definition for everyone to see. It seems strange that they’d have movies like that in heaven, but that’s another rabbit trail.
It seems that I’ve always heard two variations of how Judgment Day will be, at least for followers of Jesus: after the movie, either God declares the star Not Guilty because Jesus wiped the script clean, or else God rules Guilty but notes that Jesus already paid the price, so you get a free pass into heaven anyway.
Today gave a new twist to the ending. What if God simply declares, “Case dismissed”? You and I still know we’re really guilty, but The Accuser (that would be Satan) is a no-show at the courthouse. Kind of like the woman caught in adultery after all the stone-throwers have walked away; Jesus asks, “where are your accusers?” and she says, “they’ve left.” Case dismissed. Don’t sin anymore.