What is your experience of Jersey’s Courts?
Some Jersey folk who have experienced for themselves the judgments of the Jersey Courts say that Jersey does not have a “justice system” – it has instead a “legal system”.
But deep down within us all is a strong desire for justice, for wrongs to be righted, for judgment to fall upon the unjust. The prayer in French immediately before each judicial sitting of the Royal Court rightly includes, in translation, these words – “Lord God, almighty and eternal Father, we pray that you will guide this Court by your Holy Spirit so that, having your gift of wisdom and understanding, it may do justice to all, rightly judging that the good and the innocent be upheld and protected, and wrongdoers punished and restrained so that the truth of your word may be applied among us, and you may reign here through Jesus Christ Our Lord....”
Look again at the words in bold above. We rightly consider that the final pre-death statements of a human being are important. These are some of the last words of Jesus Christ – a few hours before he was executed.
He tells his 11 closest followers that the Advocate (the “Holy Spirit” in the Royal Court prayer above) will come and will convict the world (c) “concerning judgment” “because the ruler of this world is judged.”
The words for “judgment” and “judged” in the Greek original manuscripts of John’s biography of Jesus are the noun “krisis” and the verb “krino”. Our English word “criteria” comes from this Greek source.
But notice that Jesus uses the word “convict” with its implication that those so “convicted” will be convinced against their will. And notice who these people are who will be convicted concerning “judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.” It’s “the world” (including Jersey folk).
So the Advocate that Jesus said he would send after his death would convict Jersey folk in AD 2011 of “judgment because the ruler of this world is [about to be] judged.”
Let’s put that to the test. Do folk now recognise that Jesus was unlawfully condemned by two supreme courts? One of those courts was the Jewish Sanhedrin. And we know that the Jews are the chosen people of Almighty God. This was their supreme court in AD 33. The second court was a Roman one. The Roman Empire was at that time the greatest Empire that the world had ever known. It even extended its authority to Jersey!
And do folk now recognise that the rulings of those Courts and the carrying out of their judgments (Was theirs a “justice system” or a legal system”?) were wrong? Amazingly, yes. Why? Because of the resurrection of this just man, this man of truth and grace whose teachings were so radically good.
What does this conviction (in AD 2011) have to say about the “ruler of this world”? In AD 33 the rulers of this world seemed to be the Sanhedrin and the Romans. Was there another ruler behind them or above them? (Remember that the records show that the Sanhedrin was devoted to self-seeking power. And Pilate was afraid to lose his job if a riot occurred.)
In AD 2011 let the global media today will answer that by one example among countless others. Is there not behind Colonel Gaddafi’s self-seeking aggrandisement (even to killing his countrymen) a power at work? Is there not a self-seeking power at work behind all humankind? A power that has brought them all into self-seeking rather than Jesus following?
No self-seeking with Jesus. He gave his own life for others. I’m convicted – and convinced.