Mr. Stone said “your honor, I can let the scene run as long as needed to make the point if you wish, but I believe I have already shown Mr. Tomei began showing contempt for all things sacred even as a young man”? The judge sighed and said, “No, Mr. Stone, your point has been made,” and instantly the screen faded back to black. The Judge looked over to the defense table and said, “Mr. Vivam, would you care to counter”? The attorney stood and said, “yes your honor, I would like to enter into evidence Exodus 2:12. Moses killed an Egyptian, yet still went on to lead God’s chosen children out of bondage. The capacity to sin does not make a soul disposable to God”. The scene of Moses burying the dead man in the sand scrolled across the screen and then was replaced with a scene of Moses leading his people across the divided Red Sea. “Many good things have been accomplished by those who have behaved badly at times your honor.” Next the screen showed a homeless man asleep against a building with a light coat of snow on his clothing, he was shivering in his sleep. While the court watched Sal removed his coat and covered the man with it, and the court could feel the compassion in Sal’s heart as he had helped the man. “Human lives are complex your honor, very seldom does one act, or even a series of acts define the motives of the soul”. The defense lawyer then sat back down as the prosecutor’s eyes bored holes through him.
Mr. Stone stood and rattled off the next exhibit quickly, and a scene shot onto the screen of Sal taking change from a sales clerk. Sal walked down a sidewalk with the cash still in his hands, counting it again and again, he was nineteen years old at the time. Your honor, this exhibit shows Mr. Tomei knew in his heart that the clerk had given him change for a fifty instead of a twenty, and yet he chose to keep it rather than return it. Another scene came up of Sal doing his taxes when he was thirty-one, and taking a deduction that he was not legally entitled to. “Your honor, it would appear that dishonesty was more of a way of life to the defendant rather than an occasional error.” Other scenes flashed up on the screen as Sal recognized them and knew the prosecutor was right. This was terrible, having your life examined under a microscope like this. He looked over at Mr. Vivam and once again, the man winked at him. This guy was good, but Sal didn’t see any way that he could continue to be defended for things that he knew himself he was guilty of. When Stone was through, Vivam stood and said “Your honor, I present Genesis 25:29-34 into evidence. Jacob stole his brother’s birthright and then he and his mother deceived his father by even going so far as to wear a disguise to deceive his father Isaac. What a despicable man he must have been, yet God chose Jacob to be the father of Israel”, the scenes playing before everyone.
Stone jumped up and said, “Your honor is the defense going to be allowed to discredit every example that the prosecution gives”? The judge said “Settle down now Mr. Stone, it isn’t my fault or the defenses fault if you didn’t prepare your case properly. Now let’s move things along, what is your next evidence? Stone stood and said “Lust your honor, lust. The defendant has a record of being led to lust after women. The defendant became sexually active as a teenager, and for the sake of the court I am holding the evidence of this from the screen, but I count three girls to whom he was not married that he engaged in sexual relations with, and all before he met his wife Karen. The lust didn’t stop when he got married your honor; it seemed a theme every summer when women’s clothing became scarce, Mr. Tomei’s eyes would roam. I enter into evidence Matthew 5:28, which means Mr. Tomei not only lusted, but committed adultery each and every time he lusted.”
Mr. Vivam rose again and said “Objection your honor, I enter 2 Samuel 11, David not only physically engaged in adultery, but because of that he had the husband of the woman killed too. Yes, this was a despicable act to commit as well, yet in Acts 13:22 the Apostle Paul states that God Himself refers to David as “a man after My own heart”. Yet if Mr. Stone were to have his way, David would not be fit to inhabit the Kingdom with God as he does. Your Honor, even the Apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh, in Romans 7:15 he even said, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Are we going to continue to waste the courts time by pulling these things up one by one, we haven’t even gotten to the subject of grace yet your honor, but if this continues it will be my next response. Mr. Vivam then sat and looked to the judge.
The courtroom was silent as everyone looked to Stone for a response. Finally he stood and said “Your honor, I really didn’t want to, but I now present multiple examples of repeated sin that Mr. Tomei knew was wrong but chose to go ahead and do anyway. The screen flashed shameful scene after scene as Sal placed his head in his hands and began to weep silently. It was then that he felt a hand on his shoulder, and he looked over at Mr. Vivam, who had a slightly discernible smile on his face, and Sal couldn’t help but wonder what the lawyer still had up his sleeve. The audience continued to murmur as the scenes flashed before them. That’s enough Mr. Stone, the judge said, and once again the screen went blank, are you finished or should we expect more? Mr. Stone had a smirk on his face as he looked over at Sal and said “the prosecution rests your honor”.
Mr. Vivam slowly stood and looked toward the screen as an image came on of Sal on his knees beside his bed. “Dear God, please forgive me for the things I do, I am a sinful man with sinful ways. I want to be pleasing in your sight Lord, please give me the strength to change and become pleasing to you. I will never be able to earn one bit of my salvation, it is only through the blood of Your Son that I can be made worthy, so please wash me and make me white as snow in your sight, and remember my sins no more.” Your honor, Jesus blood was shed for this very type of sin, the sin that while he knew was wrong, the flesh was weak. Mr. Stone continues to waste the court’s time by trying to re-instate the Old Testament laws into New Testament judgment. I move that all charges against my client be dropped and the court recognize that he is indeed innocent, any and all sins quashed, forever forgotten and his soul made white as snow. With that, the screens all lit up again and the memories began to be deleted at lightning speed until they were all gone. The judge nodded and looked at Mr. Stone who surprisingly smiled at Sal and nodded too. The judge rapped the gavel once and said “case dismissed”.
Sal looked over at Mr. Vivam and said thank you, thank you so much! The defender smiled and peeled his gloves off one by one, then shook Sal’s hand. It was then that he noticed the scars on the defender’s wrists. Not knowing what to say, he looked at the Man for an answer. Jesus, My name is Jesus Christ, but sometimes I go by Aquam Vivam, which is Latin for Living Water. “Congratulations”, Sal turned to see Mr. Stone removing his gloves too; he also had scars on his wrists. My name is Peter, he said, although I have been called both a rock and a stone over the years. Sal couldn’t help but wonder, why did we have to go through all of this if you both knew how it would end? Peter answered, because you needed to be justified. Jesus had to defend you and that is why you are here. Without His sacrifice neither of us would be where we are now, free to spend an eternity in heaven with God. As they entered the white hallway again, it was no longer endless, but opened out into the clouds. Any questions Sal had were gone, as were any worries or anxieties, nothing but pure happiness remained as the transformed sinner walked between Jesus and Peter toward the clouds.