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A Different Perspective of Innocence

In the second season of Joan of Arcadia, Joan played by Amber Tamblyn is a junior in high school. At the beginning of episode 19 entitled Trial and Error, Joan is given an assignment by God. Appearing as a high school janitor, God encourages Joan to join Mock Trial. After an introductory conversation in class, Joan finds herself trying her boy friend Adam who is persuaded to role play Jack from Jack in the Beanstalk. As Joan volunteers to be the lead prosecutor, she finds herself going up against her best friend Grace played by Becky Wahlstrom.

So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God, 2 Corinthians 5:20.

A first century letter by the apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth provides a powerful illustration of innocence. Using a similar concept found in Psalm 103:12, Paul explains what Jesus’ death and resurrection means for those who enter into a personal relationship with God. Despite whatever imperfections you possess and transgressions that you’ve committed, God has a special mirror with an unique reflection. Instead of magnifying all of your flaws, Jesus replaces all believers in this mirror. Thus, anyone who trusts in the name of the Lord, Romans 10:9-11, will be saved and deemed innocent.

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness], 2 Corinthians 5:21.

To avoid a spoiler alert on the outcome of Joan’s mock trial, God and Joan have a conversation afterward, riding the bus on her way home from school. Little did Joan know that this mock trial coincided with inappropriate actions taken by Adam played by Chris Marquette. As the worlds of real and make believe collide, Joan is caught completely surprised. As she comes to grips with what just happened, God consoles her with a different perspective of innocence. Taking the form of a wise old woman, God claims that “innocence is faith that there is goodness in the face of cruelty and pain.”

by Jay Mankus

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