It has been an interesting week. First, my hubs and I just finished watching Inventing Anna (I know, there are better things to do… the stack of books next to my bed would agree). And also the Oscars happened. Admittedly, when Russia and Ukraine tensions are high, these things are trivial, but even in the trivial, truth surfaces.
So here’s what I noticed: advocates.
There’s this moment in the finale of Anna, when all of the horrific stories birthed from her choices were laid out for all to see in a courtroom. Remarkably, there was this one friend who stayed — and promoted her the best that she could. She had nothing to gain, and showed up and sat through the trial even after the camouflage was gone. We could linger a long time over friend choices, but in this instance, even undeserving, the girl stuck around and even advocated for her friend.
Then there was Will Smith at the Oscars. Basically everyone chattered about this. And (while none of us can be sure exactly what was said), two high profile friends went to him immediately after the controversial moment. They stayed, rallied for him, spoke (reportedly) wise words. And while this is not a post about who was right and who was wrong, and what could have been done differently; these people advocated for their people. Maybe for personal gain. Maybe not.
It’s easy to discuss the lives of those who live public controversy. But isn’t it true that as broken people walking around in a broken world, we’ve all found ourselves in the literal or metaphorical seat of the defendant? Against the backdrop of holiness, our sin, and all the junk birthed from it… it’s unquestionably the opposite.
We also have an advocate.
“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.” — 1 John 2:1 ESV (emphasis mine)
According to Logos, The Greek word: “paraklētos ,” is translated “advocate” in this text. It means “one who pleads another’s cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him.”
And what really gets me is this: no one else could have done this for us and it resulted in life. And the judge isn’t some cruel authority over creation with some insatiable desire to doll out punishment, just looking for an opportunity to bring us to our knees. He is just, and he is merciful — because even though it cost him greatly, he himself sent Jesus to advocate for us, knowing that it was the only way to reclaim our wandering hearts. Anna’s lawyer had something to gain. Virtually everyone who aligned with her wanted something from her. But our advocate, the one who stands up on our behalf, wants everything for us.
He knows our failures and he positions us to receive mercy. He knows our ugliest moments and he comes after us with a heart bent on restoration. Jesus came alive and advocates for us. Then he clothes us. And we get to do life with him. So the question ultimately becomes, who is advocating for you? Are they capable of bringing life?