In the Boston Marathon bombing case two statements will forever live in infamy and they are:
“It was him…”
“…the bombing, which I am guilty of – if there’s any lingering doubt about that, let there be no more. I did do it along with my brother…
Anyone who has followed this case knows who said what statement. What some still wonder is why.
Judy Clark lost the case for her client in her opening statement, driving the nail in the proverbial coffin within the first five minutes when it would do the most damage and be remembered most vividly. Dzhokhar, the accused, spoke when it no longer mattered, when his words could no longer help him.
From an affidavit that was added to the record of the trial after the fact, we have learned the reason Judy Clark conceded guilt. She spoke in response to threats made by the government, in response to pressure to “not resist conviction.”
One does not need an affidavit to understand how Dzhokhar, who entered a plea of not guilty in his first appearance before a judge, was induced to take responsibility only after his conviction and sentencing had already been decided by a jury: he too fell prey to threats by the same government.
Call that speculation if you will, but I believe there are enough publicly known facts to make my opinion 99.9% accurate. No one knows the whole truth except Dzhokhar, and he is told when to speak and when to be silent. Those directing him have not had his best interests in mind, acting instead in consideration of their own welfare.
For this reason, those of us on the outside looking in “know in part and prophesy in part.” 1 Corinthians 13:9 However, I take heart with the verse that follows: “but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away.” 1 Corinthians 13:10
This blog post will not be another treatise about statements from the past. What I wish to do instead is illustrate what is both possible and probable in the future: that the next time Dzhokhar Tsarnaev enters a courtroom in regard to this case, no amount of pressure will move him or induce him, in any phase of the proceedings, to admit guilt and thus perjure himself.
Philippians 3:13 – 14 says “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal…”
Hebrews 11:32 – 34 says “And what more shall I say? Time will not allow me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises; shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.”
What makes an ordinary person able to do such things? What can so transform a life that the impossible becomes possible?Only one thing: an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, an encounter I know Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is going to have, an encounter no prison or government can prevent, control, hinder, delay or suppress, an encounter about which no man knows the day or the hour, an encounter Dzhokhar may have already experienced.
If you love this blog, I know you are rejoicing with me at the thought. If you hate this blog, you may want to stop reading now. The rest of what I have to say won’t make you any happier. If you choose to keep reading, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
When I pray for Dzhokhar, one of the things I petition God for is that Dzhokhar will be so transformed that when next he walks into a courtroom to face his accusers, there will be no trace of the young man who was bullied, coerced and controlled the first time and that there will be no mention of the name Allah from his lips. My prayer, which I fully expect God will answer, is that Dzhokhar will enter that future courtroom joyful and secure in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord – his Lord.
Extreme governmental pressure and threats are nothing new. Consider this story from chapter 3 of the book of Daniel:
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent word to assemble the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Then the satraps, the prefects and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the judges, the magistrates and all the rulers of the provinces were assembled for the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up. But whosoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego
King Nebuchadnezzar received the following report:
“These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.”
Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?”
That is a funny question coming from a mere mortal when you consider what God has said about Himself and how He has already acted to prove the truth of His words.
Isaiah 43:13 says “Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”
Isaiah 14:27 “For the Lord of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?”
Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is not one who can deliver from My hand.
Who does this Nebuchadnezzar think he is anyway? For that matter, who do Eric Holder, Carmen Ortiz, Barack Hussein Obama, George O’Toole and the members of the prosecution team think they are in comparison to Almighty God?
Psalm 8:4 What is man that You are mindful of him?
Now, back to the story:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar was so enraged at their response that he ordered the furnace to be made seven times hotter than normal and for the three men to be bound and thrown, fully clothed, into the fiery furnace. The heat was so extreme that it killed the king’s men who threw the three Hebrews into the furnace.
As the king watched, he saw, in utter amazement, that the three who were thrown bound into the fire were now unbound, walking around in the flames unharmed and that a fourth man was now in the furnace with them.
A high official told the king “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the forth is like a son of the gods!”
Well, that’s one way for an unbeliever to describe Jesus I suppose. Is it any wonder this story ends as follows?
Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire.
The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who put their trust in Him, violating the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation or tongue that speaks anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego shall be torn limb from limb and their houses reduced to a rubbish heap, inasmuch as there is no other god who is able to deliver in this way.” Then the king caused Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego to prosper in the province of Babylon.
Listen now to the story of Jon Kelly.
The next time Dzhokhar is pressured to make a statement in court, no matter what he is threatened with, don’t be surprised to hear a statement something like this instead of what he is told to say:
“Regarding the bombing of the Boston Marathon, I did not do it, nor did my brother. If there remains any lingering doubt about that, let there be no more… I praise the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Jesus His Son, who still sets captives free. Blessed be His holy name! For You, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Psalm 116:8, Psalm 56:13 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19
Amen, Dzhokhar. Amen. So be it Lord.