When you apply for homeowners insurance you're asked if you own a trampoline.
Tramps, as we all know, are liability pits. Everybody gets injured at some point.
When I was 13 I was playing at my friend's house in Pleasant Grove, Utah, goofing around on his tramp.
At one point he bounced me off the trampoline and I fell into his mother's wooden planter box.
I broke my wrist.
The doctors put a cast over my wrist and forearm and for the next 3 weeks of summer I itched and sweated and couldn't wait to get that cast off.
When my friend (yes, same one) invited me to a water park, I decided to take matters into my own hands and secretly used my mothers sewing scissors (an unforgivable sin) and cut off the cast.
The water park was great fun. Coming home to mother, not so much.
A Lamb Without Blemish
There are 206 bones in the human body.
Apparently Jesus never broke any bones so he could fulfil his role as the sacrificial lamb of God.
(I guess they hadn't invented trampolines yet.)
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
Though Christ never broke a bone, he certainly broke his heart.
Did you know the human heart is a single muscle?
We all have just one cardiac muscle.
Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
I am no doctor, but I have heard there is watery fluid surrounding our heart and lungs, which gushed out of the Savior's body when they pierced his side.
And while I am no doctor, I know that among those 206 unbroken bones in our Lord hanging upon the cross, there was not a single condemnation-bone in his whole body.
Jesus Is Not Our Judge
Jesus did not condescend to earth in the black robes of a judge.
I've never seen a picture of the Nativity where baby Jesus is holding a gavel giving Joseph a stern look.
There is no condemnation in the pure love of Christ.
Let me repeat that: there is no condemnation in the pure love of Christ.
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
So we're good, right?
No, we're not good. We've got to consider the next verse:
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him . . .
Who, then? Who's our judge if not God?
The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
Well (*scratching head*). How are words going to judge us?
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?
Our Own Harshest Critic
Now, in terms of corporate judgment, the Twelve Apostles have that under control. Jesus assigned them to judge the tribes of Israel.
But in terms of personal judgment, if Jesus is not our judge, then who is?
Well, who better to judge you than . . .
How would you rate yourself against the standard of Christ's word? Be honest.
Alma said something oddly cryptic:
These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, [taken out of what?] that are delivered from that endless night [what does this mean?] of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil.
That verse has several layers which we're not going to peel away right now.
I just want to focus on the part that says "they are their own judges."
Ouch. I never liked self-grading.
Picture yourself dressed up for your big day.
Are you attending a wedding or a funeral?
Which will Judgment Day be like for you?
Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him-- [oh boy, this is gonna be a tough case]
Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, [that's not us, clearly] in whom thou wast well pleased; [still not us] behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; [nope, still not us]
Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, [that's us! Look mom, I'm on TV!] that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.
Jesus is our “advocate,” which means that before the tribunal He is our defense attorney.
Seeing as how we are all guilty, it is a tough job.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
(1 John 2:1)
As our court-appointed public Defender, Jesus stands beside us when we are arraigned at Judgment Day.
You'll notice our legal defense is thinking-outside-the-box: “Your Honor, if it please the Court, let the accused go free because I am innocent.”
Huh? What just happened? I thought judgment was about me.
How utterly unexpected that Jesus makes our trial about Him and his righteousness!
Ironically, there is no discussion of our guilt (it is presumed) and there is no evidence presented of our good works (you may discard Exhibits ‘A’ thru ‘Z’ you have been keeping in your back pocket).
We are pardoned in Christ’s name, because of His good works.
In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them.