SPIRITUAL DOUBLE JEOPARDY The 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution contains a clause called „Double Jeopardy‟. It forbids any one from being tried twice for the same crime. It serves to protect against: 1) a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal; 2) a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction; and 3) multiple punishments for the same offense. In 1999, Paramount Pictures re- leased a motion picture entitled: „Double Jeopardy‟. It was about a wife whose husband staged his death and then framed her for his murder. The wife was declared guilty of murder by the judicial system and served six years in prison. After her release, she was placed on parole. She then diligently tracked down her husband and finally confronted him at gunpoint. It was at this moment of the film that she made a statement to him that so accurately describes the legal benefit of Double Jeopardy: “I could shoot you in the middle of Mardi Gras and they can’t touch me.” Co-star Tommy Lee Jones, who plays the role of her pursuing parole officer, confirmed her statement by saying: “As an ex-Law Professor, I can assure you she is right.” As the film draws to a close, she shoots, and kills, the deceitful husband and minutes later the credits role. Due to the „Double Jeopardy‟ clause in the Constitution, she would not be tried nor serve time in jail again for his actual murder because she‟d already been tried and served her time for it. The Bible declares: “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” Also: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:10, 23). All of mankind stands guilty before God of committing the greatest of all crimes: violating His holy and righteous standards. I find it very interesting that God, who has the highest legal and morality system that exits, also chose to implement the „Double Jeopardy‟ clause into His law. But how does it work? And who benefits from it? God‟s „Double Jeopardy‟ law works exactly the same as our United States Constitution Jeopardy law does. But it only benefits those who have truly committed their lives to Jesus Christ. Christians can‟t be prosecuted, or convicted, by God for their sins a second time because Jesus Christ was already prosecuted and convicted as a substitute in our place when he died on the cross! He was actually convicted by the Supreme Court of Heaven for our crimes (sins) and no second prosecution can take place! God has granted us an acquittal and there will be no “multiple” punishment for our offenses. Time for our offenses has been served, God‟s justice has been satisfied, and we law-breakers of God cannot be judged a second time! This is the gospel news. Jesus paid it all! The scriptures conclude: “Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:23-25). Also: “For he (God) has made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who never sinned, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
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