It seems that, these days in Jersey, one can’t avoid the world of Advocates. They (and I include Solicitors here) appear in our lives, for good or ill, at almost every serious event. Divorce is one such event. Drunken driving is another. Then there’s death – probate is needed, the estate needs winding up. And when buying or selling a home, or a business.
But Jersey Advocates come into their own (as it were) in the Royal Court – especially in connection with litigation. In civil litigation, an Advocate speaks convincingly either on behalf of a Plaintiff or on behalf of a Defendant. In criminal litigation often a Crown Advocate will speak with conviction on behalf of the Jersey law-and-order authorities, whilst the accused’s Advocate will speak with conviction on behalf of the accused.
It is worth noting that when an accused who has pleaded “Not Guilty” is finally found guilty after a Royal Court trial he/she will have been convicted against his/her will.
At first blush that might seem to be the position with regard to Jesus who was convicted as guilty by two authoritative courts (the Jerusalem Sanhedrin and the Roman Procurator) a few hours after he spoke the words in bold above to his disciples.
But that is not the case. Jesus was not convicted against his will. That night (see above) he was telling these 11 men as clearly as possible that he was going away – going back to the Father. And he had already made it clear that all the events in every day immediately before his execution as a criminal were being arranged by him and were under his control in every detail.
Jesus was wrongly convicted but not against his will. He was convicted because he wanted to be convicted, wanted to pay the price – for others..
But look again at the words in bold above. Once Jesus goes away, he says, he will send the Advocate (the holy spirit)to his followers. And this Advocate, Jesus says, “will convict the world” (that includes Jersey folk AD 2011) “of (b) righteousness.” I must therefore ask myself, “Am I convicted of righteousness?”
Fortunately Jesus gave his 11 disciples a “because”. He said that the Advocate “will convict the world concerning righteousness because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer.”
So it’s the righteousness of Jesus that is the issue here. The Advocate will convict the world concerning Jesus’ righteousness for the very good reason that, as he himself said, “I go to the Father and you will see me no more.” In other words, because he rose from the dead, a resurrected man, and because he ascended to the Father, and because his grave is empty.
My personal conviction is that Jersey folk are convicted about the righteousness of Jesus – deep down. In fact, they are convicted of his righteousness against their will. They therefore deny this resurrection in their daily lives by ignoring their deep convictions and by having nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth.
How intriguing this is. The super-successful Advocate, the holy spirit of God Most High, convicts folk (against their will, but rightly) about the righteousness of Jesus AD 2011. Jesus, the good and righteous man, was convicted (in accordance with his will, but wrongly) by folk in AD 33. How dangerous to be convicted but not convinced.
We’ve looked at the Advocate convicting the world (Jersey) (a) “concerning sin” and (b) “concerning righteousness”. We’ll look at (c) “concerning judgment” later.