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
Okay, full disclosure: I have a little, twelve pound, yorkie-poo, puppy dog named Anabelle. Well, to be completely honest she isn’t a puppy anymore—she’s twelve. And she owns me. I know it’s supposed to be the other way around but who am I kidding? It’s not.
When I was training her as a puppy I was a complete novice. Poor thing. I had no clue what I was doing. Growing up we always had big dogs and big dogs are significantly different. I was far too harsh with her, but I didn’t know it—until one day. One day I was walking down the wooden steps in our log cabin and right there in front of me on the little landing where the stairs turn was a gigantic puddle pee. I was furious! Anabelle was a year old by then! We had worked hard to potty train her. How in the world could she not know that type of behavior was unacceptable by now?
I felt the scream rising from my gut. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. “ANABELLE! ANABELLE! NO!” I glanced around, but she was nowhere in sight. I took off looking for her. It was time to teach her a lesson. I searched upstairs, downstairs, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, but she was nowhere to be found. Finally I went to the laundry room where her little travel cage was. She hated that room because it was where we would put her when we had to leave her at home. There was no way she’d be there. But, sure enough as I peeked into the room, there she was cowering in the back of her little, pink, travel cage.
Everything changed for me in that instant. The look of that sweet, little dog peering up at me in fear was enough to melt even my heart of stone. I realized in that moment that she was terrified of me. How could she be afraid of me? I love her. I take care of her. But, in spite of all that whenever she did something wrong I wasn’t a safe space for her.
So often growing up that’s exactly the way I felt about God. I could go to him when I was good. I could run to him when I was sad. But, whenever I sinned, whenever I failed I was terrified. Wasn’t he the judge? Wasn’t he the one who carried out the punishment? How could I run to him in my sin?
When I discovered this verse it blew me away! The picture painted here is that Jesus isn’t my accuser, or the judge, or the jury. Jesus is my defense attorney! He is my advocate—not just when I’m good. Jesus is my advocate when I sin! He is the one who loves me, protects me, and takes care of me even when I sin against him! This is one of the most beautiful pictures of God’s love that I’ve ever seen.
Should we avoid sin at all cost? Absolutely! Sin wants to destroy us. But, whenever we do sin, whenever we fall, whenever we fail, the first person we should seek out, the person we should run to is Jesus. He is the one person who is most for us in the entire world. Can you believe that? What an amazing God!