Friday, February 1, 2008

On Grace and Mercy

I loved this article from the Baylor University "Lariat." Baylor Law School Professor, Mark Osler, remarked how he was driven into the noble field of criminal defense work:
The discussion, led by Mark Osler, Baylor professor of law, and Hugh Kirkegaard, associate minister of McNeal Baptist Church in Ontario, Canada, incorporated faith into the world of criminal justice.

"Jesus was a criminal defendant and not a prosecutor, and that matters," Osler said. "God chose to make his son a defendant and not a prosecutor."

Focusing on the element of grace and mercy, Osler said, "Criminal law is all about managing tragedy . . . "

Although Osler began his career as a prosecutor, he eventually changed sides and became a defense attorney. He said the eighth chapter of John helped him make the decision. The chapter tells of an adulterous woman about to be stoned by an angry mob before Jesus intercedes and points out that no one is without sin.

"I started to think, maybe I'm not Jesus, maybe I'm not God," he said. "Maybe I'm the mob with a stone in my hand."
You've got to respect a guy who's not ashamed of the Gospel and willing to base a career move on the Truth. Moreover, I agree with Mark and often feel the prosecution is no more than a mob armed and ready to cast the first stone. If only more of them understood grace and mercy. They say they do - but they really don't.

Grace is getting what we don't deserve. Mercy is forbearance while withholding justice. Why don't they understand? If they only knew, each day of their lives, God withholds from them the judgment they deserve.

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