Sunday, April 8, 2007

My Day In Court

I didn’t do it. Honest.

This time I really didn’t do it. Every other time I have been pulled over by a police officer it has been my own fault.

I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. I was speeding. I was changing lanes in an intersection without signaling while running a red light and speeding.

Something like that.

This time however, I was innocent.

The speed limit was 55. My cruise was set at 55 because I had just got a ticket two days earlier and I didn’t want the obligatory lecture from my better half about my habit of driving at a speed normally reserved for test tracks on the slat flats. I even showed my wife that the cruise was set at 55.

And then it happened. In my rear view mirror appeared those all too familiar blueberries and cherries. I was being pulled over!

The officer asked if I knew why I was being pulled over. Actually, No, I didn’t know why he had pulled me over. I knew it wasn’t for speeding because my cruise was set at 55. He said, “Actually, I clocked you going 72.”

It was at this point that things began to go down hill.

Someone challenged the others honesty, a few car doors were slammed, questions were asked, demands were made, some words were exchanged. At one point someone was told to “Shut up and get back in the car”.

Anyway, I digress.

After the scene was over I took my ticket and drove on home.

After the 30 days passed I phoned the county courthouse and requested a trial by judge. I did not want to pay a ticket I knew I didn’t deserve. So I cast my lot with the judge.

The day of my trial, as I drove to the county courthouse, a realization struck me. I might not win this.

The judge might not be a fair man. I might say the wrong thing. He could charge me anything he wants if he finds me guilty. He could make me, if he would so choose, to spend a night in jail. The officer might be his brother/dad/uncle/neighbor and I’m going to owe the county hundreds of dollars. Maybe spend a night in jail if I couldn’t pay the fine he chooses to levy against me.

It struck me that casting my lot with the judge might not have been such a good idea.

It was then that I began to pray!

I arrived early hoping that promptness would carry some virtue with “your honor”.

As I sat in the empty courtroom a side door opened and in walked the prosecutor for the county.

She asked if I was there for a trial. “Yes Maam”.

She then asked me what my name was and I told her. She then informed me that they didn’t have a current phone number for me and they had been trying to contact me. It seems as though the officer who wrote the ticket decided to drop the charges. My license would be returned to me and no fine exacted.

How do you spell relief? N-o-t-g-u-i-l-t-y!

The judge walked into the courtroom and called my name. The bailiff escorted me to the front of the courtroom and instructed me to stand before the judge. He asked me my name.


“Your charges have been dropped. Do you accept this?”

“Yes, your honor”.

My license was handed back to me, I signed a document and I was free to go.

The birds sang, the flowers bloomed and the breese was blowing slightly from the east that day. Things couldn’t have been better!

I felt great. It wasn’t just “not guilty”. It was “the charges are dropped”.

I wasn’t given my license back because I was found innocent. I was given my license back because they had nothing to charge me with.

I left that day with a greater appreciation for what Jesus did for me on Calvary.

Today is Easter Sunday and I have a greater appreciation for what Easter means after having faced the judge and having heard him tell me I’m free to go. There are no charges against you.

That’s what Calvary and an empty grave means to the soul today.

We’re not just found innocent. The blood wipes our record so that there’s not even any charges to be heard.

Thank God for the Blood!

Happy Easter!

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