Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you.
Relate: David knew a truth. He was guilty. I am guilty. You are guilty. Each and every one of us are as guilty as sin. There’s no getting around that fact. There is no escaping it. If the audio version of my thoughts is going to be played in heaven’s court, I don’t stand a chance. If my motives are shown in closed caption, I’m fried. If my secret shame were pulled out from under the rug and the corner of the closet, I’m done for. And so are you. I don’t care if your name is Billy Graham. I don’t care if you’re the reincarnation of Mother Theresa. We are all dirty little devils deserving of hell.
What is worse, we try to justify our sin. We try to rationalize it. We try to look for someone worse with whom we can compare so that we won’t look so bad. But David knew better. David knew the truth. And if I look honestly in the mirror, if you would peel away the rationalizations, we would know it true. Each and every one of us is guilty as sin. That is why we can say like David, “Please, please don’t put me on trial.” We already know what the verdict will be.
React: God also knew. Of course He did. For Him, our thoughts, our motives truly are completely revealed. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Even worse, since He is truth, those justifications and rationalizations and comparisons we try to use to cover up our guilty conscience don’t amount to a hill of beans. He sees right through it.
But He didn’t put us on trial. Instead He came. That is what Emmanuel means: “God with us”. And God did come down and live with us. He walked with us. He taught us and healed us and gave us an example to follow. Then He stepped into that spiritual courtroom in our place. He took the verdict we deserved. He died. He took our sin from us and dragged it straight to hell where it belongs. What is best, He left it there when He took back the keys and kicked open the gates. Now, once again Jesus, Emmanuel, can live with us because we have been forgiven. That is what the incarnation is all about. That is what Christmas is all about. That is the greatest gift of all.
God, I thank You for Your grace. I thank You that I don’t get what I do deserve. I recognize that I am a sinner deserving of hell. I am so grateful that You came and You died, and You now live in my place. I am thankful that You came. I am thankful that You are here. I surrender to You, Emmanuel.