Reading: “If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him?”—1 Samuel 2:25
It is a very solemn thing to behold a trembling convicted criminal when he appears before an earthly tribunal—although the judge is of the same nature with himself—for every thing is solemn, earnest, and impartial. But what is the awfulness of a court of human judicature, compared to that day, in which a whole world, all found guilty before God, shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ? In this life, there is, for the most part, somewhat to mitigate, and to excite hope in the worst of cases—some tender-hearted friend, some kind neighbour will be found to arise, to soften, if not able to relieve the guilty man’s distress. But at that tribunal, where none can plead, and where all hearts are open, what shall be found to stop the overwhelming horrors of the condemned?
If one man sin against another the judge will judge him; and who is the judge but Jesus? Here he that is the judge is also the advocate of His people. He is their surety, their law-fulfiller; so that, as the apostle says, “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1–2).
What a soul-supporting consolation! To all the sins and offences, both against God and man, the believer may plead the blood and righteousness of Jesus, as the law-fulfiller and ransom paid for sin. But if a man sin against the Lord himself, by rejecting this counsel of God against his own soul, who then shall entreat for him? For he slights the only advocate, and he denies the only propitiation. Now, as there is salvation in no other there remains no more sacrifice for sin. Cherish, dear Christian, the blessedness of this hope, which is founded wholly on the Mediator’s righteousness; and rests on what can never fail, because it is founded both on the merit of Christ, and God the Father’s own appointment.