The news that an Atlanta police officer has been charged with felony murder after the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks disturbs me. Even more so now as more news surfaces that the police are walking off their jobs or not responding to calls.
If this happens in Atlanta, how much longer will it take before other cities in our country are affected by situations like this? After church last Sunday, I asked a fellow congregation member who serves as a police officer what the atmosphere is like at work. He said, “Pray for us because ‘blue flu’ is setting in.”
The death of Brooks is a tragedy. PERIOD. So is the untimely death of George Floyd and so many others.
But should these police officers be prosecuted in the court of public opinion?
Shouldn’t the authorities be allowed to conduct a full investigation to be presented to the DA to ensure the accused receive a fair trial PRIOR to filing charges?
My husband is a retired federal agent and I worked in support role with federal law enforcement for many years. For years, we trusted that should my husband ever face a confrontation that the law would protect him from prosecution if he operated within the boundaries of the law.
And as a wife of a law enforcement officer, I can assure you that each time I said good-bye to my husband as he left for work, I never knew if it would be the last time. We accepted the dangers of his duties.
Not only that, but we also relate to the side of the accused. My son was arrested, tried in a court of law, and sentenced to prison. The thing is though—my son’s case went through the due process of the law and not tried in the court of public opinion.
But as I reflect on what is happening in our country, I realized that a crowd demanding a conviction is not anything new.
Let’s look at one of the most famous cases in our history …
Jesus Christ of Nazareth
Jesus was known as a carpenter from Nazareth. At 30 years old, He left his job to go into full-time itinerant ministry. Not everyone agreed with His teachings, especially the Jewish Pharisees.
And it is important to note that Jesus was a Jew and the Jewish nation was controlled by the Romans at the time. So there were a lot of racial tensions among the people at the time.
For about three years, the Pharisees looked for reasons to entrap Jesus so that they could stop Him from spreading the gospel. Finally, they convinced one of Jesus’ disciples to betray Him.
We must remember that Jesus though fully man, lived a life without sin. Which means He never, ever violated the law.
But the Pharisees brought forth false allegations against Jesus, and had Jesus arrested in the middle of the night. During that arrest, Peter pulled out his sword and cut off one of an ear of one of those who came to arrest Jesus. But Jesus, healed the man’s ear before they drug Him off to be tried.
So then the Jewish Council interrogated Jesus but He didn’t give them the answers they wanted so they beat Him. Since they couldn’t beat a confession out of Jesus, they took Him to the Roman governor, Pilate.
By this time, news has spread among the people and a crowd had gathered. Pilate interrogated Jesus and “turned to the high priests and to the gathered crowd and said, ‘This man has committed no crime. I find nothing wrong with him. But they yelled and demanded that Pilate do something … ” (Luke 23:4-5 TPT).
Did you catch that? The crowds yelled and demanded action be taken—without due process, just like they are today.
Pilate heard that Jesus was from Galilee, so he decided to send Jesus to Antipas to make a decision in hopes that he wouldn’t have to. And throughout this process, the hatred accusations toward Jesus continued, so in order to please the crowds, Antipas mocked and scorned Jesus in front of them.
If cable news would have existed back then, it would have been on all the channels just as the riots, looting, and vandalism are today!
So Jesus was returned to Pilate who told the crowds that he found no fault with Him and He does not deserve death. But then the crowds shouted, “Crucify Him!”
Because it was a custom to release a prisoner at that particular time of the year, Pilate asked the crowd who they wanted released and they asked for a prisoner named, Barabbas, who was a convicted murderer, to be set free.
The mob continued to shout and demand the death of Jesus. “Because he wanted to please the people, Pilate released Barabbas to them. After he had Jesus severely beaten with a whip made of leather straps and embedded with metal, he sentenced him to be crucified” (Mark 15:15).
There you have it, Pilate caved into the crowd’s demand for a conviction and made a political decision based on the mob’s demands. The rest is history.
Jesus became a criminal, given the death penalty without a chance for an appeal as the sentence was immediately carried out.
“While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing’” (Luke 23:34).
Jesus forgave them and He asked the Father to forgive them too! After His death, He was buried in a borrowed tomb. Then God resurrected Him on the third day and now He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for us.
Our Advocate is sitting next to the Father and provided a way for us to make effective appeals to the courtroom of heaven.
It brings me comfort to know, that what the enemy means for harm, God will turn it around and use it for good. Remember the enemy is the principalities and powers of darkness—not people!
We are not without hope as our Advocate was convicted in the court of public opinion, so HE knows how to silence them!
In my book, Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven, I share more about Jesus’ wrongful conviction, what it means for us, and the process to receive answers to our prayers.
Now more than ever, we need to join together and pray for our country, for our states, and for our cities as the crowds demand convictions instead of allowing the due process of the law.
Will you join me in praying and make effective appeals to the courtroom of heaven?
Appeal to the Courtroom of Heaven contains strategies to silence the prosecutor and make effective appeals to the highest court of all! Plus it contains more than 30 Scripture-based prayers to pray in time of need. You will find prayers on overcoming fear, worry, and anxiety and much more.
Author Ann Tatlock wrote, “This book isn’t just for people who have a loved one in prison, it’s for anyone.”
OR, Click here to learn more about this book and read Chapter 1.