This is how many people think it works in a courtroom: once judges hear all the evidence they must rule in favor of the person who deserves to win.
Judges are also required to make sure that proper standards are met. You see, the laws passed by Congress and the state legislatures create a way to redress grievances, to resolve disputes, and compensate for losses one person causes another. But to win you must not only be able to show you are right; you also have to meet the right standards.
Too Little, Too Late
Let’s say the case is about a car accident. One car ran into another and hurt the people inside, so those people sued the first driver.
And then their case got tossed out of court.
There are a couple of reasons this could happen. One is that the people might not have had enough evidence that the first driver was at fault because they couldn’t find any witnesses to the accident. Another reason is they might have waited too long to bring the lawsuit; once a statute of limitations (the time limit to sue somebody) has run out it’s usually too late to file a case in court.
And sometimes people lose their case because they just don’t know what they’re doing. They not only don’t meet the standards (whether it’s having enough evidence or filing on time), they don’t even know what the standards are. They haven’t done the research necessary to pursue their claim in court.
It’s not that all of this is impossible for people. I’ve had plenty of people represent themselves in my courtroom and succeed. The standards for a court case might be exacting and at times quite technical, but they are not impossible to meet.
Meeting Impossible Standards
Jesus told us God’s standards are high, higher than we could ever reach.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:48.)
An unreasonable expectation.
And yet it is not unattainable. It is a gift: attained for us, credited to us, and ours for eternity.
God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:24-25.)
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30.)
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. (2 Corinthians 5:18-19.)
Impossible standards? Yes, for me on my own, completely impossible.
But for Jesus on my behalf? Completely doable.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27.)
Get ready for the impossible.