Where the term advocate is applied to the Lord Jesus, the language is evidently figurative, since there can be no literal pleading for us in heaven; but it is expressive of the great truth that he has undertaken our cause with God, and that he performs for us all that we expect of an advocate and counsellor. It is not to be supposed, however, that he manages our cause in the same way, or on the same principles on which an advocate in a human tribunal does. An advocate in court is employed to defend his client. He does not begin by admitting his guilt, or in any way basing his plea on the conceded fact that he is guilty; his proper business is to show that he is not guilty, or, if he be proved to be so, to see that no injustice shall be done him. The proper duty of an advocate in a human court, therefore, embraces two things:
(1.) To show that his client is not guilty in the form and manner charged on him. This he may do in one of two ways, either
(a.) by showing that he did not do the act charged on him, as when he is charged with murder, and can prove an alibi, or show that he was not present at the time the murder was committed; or
(b.) by proving that he had a right to do the deed--as, if he is charged with murder, he may admit the fact of the killing, but may show that it was in self-defence.
(2.) In case his client is convicted, his office is to see that no injustice is done to him in the sentence; to stand by him still; to avail himself of all that the law allows in his favour, or to state any circumstance of age, or sex, or former service, or bodily health, which would in any way mitigate the sentence.
In Part III, we shall look at the proper business of Jesus as advocate. Check tomorrow's post.