The Court of Heaven        

And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.  Zech 31-5

The Court of Heaven was duly set,
The Judges took their place,
The prisoner was myself, a son
Of Adam’s ruined race.
The Prosecutor read the charge,
The witnesses were sworn,
The evidence was clear and plain;
And there I stood, forlorn.

‘I move for sentence,’ said the Law,
‘My claims must honoured be,
“The soul that sinneth, it shall die”
Has long been claimed by me.’
The Righteousness a verdict gave,
And Truth concurred as well;
While Retribution hastened near
To drag me down to Hell.

Then, Mercy raised her voice, so soft,
And craved a brief delay
Till Grace, my Advocate, should speak,
Who rose, and thus did say:
‘My Lords, I own your judgement just,
And true in every sense,
The Prisoner owns his guilt, and brings,
No plea of self-defence.’

‘But in the records of this Court
I find the statement given
That Christ, the Son of God, Most High,
Went down to earth from heaven.
That there he shed his precious blood
For sinners on the Tree,
And in his name, I therefore claim
The prisoner should go free.’

The Judges rose in solemn state;
Declared that I was free,
By virtue of the One who died
For me on Calvary.
And ever since that happy day
It’s been my joy to tell
The merits of the Saviour’s death
That saved my soul from Hell.

Leslie Greening
Slavic and Oriental Mission 1967