These days, it is quite common to hear the word advocacy being bandied around. In a general sense, it means “public support for an idea, plan or way of doing something” Cambridge dictionary. It therefore follows that the general meaning of the noun ‘advocate’ is someone who publicly supports something they believe in.
The meaning that is however relevant to this writing is the legal one which is, ‘a lawyer who defends someone in court’. There is no denying the fact that most countries in the world have complex legal systems which makes it extremely difficult for one to seek legal action without the need for a professional legal representative. This is the reason why governments provide legal aid for those who cannot afford to secure their own legal representation.
An advocate in the legal sense pleads the case of his or her client to ensure that the client wins the case. No matter how overwhelming an evidence against an accused is, the lawyer is duty bound to defend and ensure that every legal instrument is used to prove that the client is not found guilty, even when the lawyer has information which confirms that the person is guilty.
There is however no firm assurance that the defence of an accused will be successful. This is because while the defence advocates for the innocence of the accused, the state also employs legal representatives referred to as prosecutors to ensure that they prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. It goes without saying therefore that the more the evidence against an accused is, the less likely that a defence will be successful. It is common for lawyers to review the evidence of a case and advise their clients on the likelihood of the success or failure.
There is however one Advocate whose success rate is 100%. None of His clients are innocent. They have committed the worst offences you can think of and yet when they come to Him, He assures them that He is willing, ready and able to plead their case no matter how overwhelming the evidence against them is.
Some reading this are probably smiling, knowing who I am referring to while others may be wondering, ‘Who is he talking about?’ The clue the answer lies in the Bible scripture 1 John 2:1. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Yes, Jesus is our advocate. We have all violated God’s laws and according to the scriptures, we
are all guilty and the sentence of death hangs over us.
When Jesus came into the picture however, He paid the price by taking our place and allowing Himself to be inflicted with the pain and punishment due to us, dying on the cross as the sacrifice to satisfy the requirements of the law. “Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Romans 4:25)
This is why Jesus’ success rate as an advocate is 100%! Unlike the human advocate whose only reliance is in their ability to use the law to the advantage of their clients, Jesus already paid the price for our sins in fulfilment of the law so He guarantees that anyone who comes to Him, no matter how bad they have been or the sins they have committed, that they will be forgiven and set free from demands of divine justice. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
We may not be able to avoid facing the consequences of the choices we have made, which is why some people may be in prison now for offences they have committed but when we come to Christ our advocate, we can be sure that He will accept us just as we are and plead our case before the Father.
I am encouraged that Jesus does not stop at pleading my case when I come to Him with my sins. “He is able to save completely all who come to God through him. Since he will live forever, he will always be there to remind God that he has paid for their sins with his blood.” (Hebrew 7:25)
I am always encouraged knowing that even now, as I write this, Jesus is in heaven reminding the Father, ‘I died for this one too!’