It was written in the 10 commandments, "Thou shalt not commit adultery." And the penalty for crossing the line under any circumstances was death by stoning. It was a clear understanding among the Jews of the day. You just don't do it.
So you can imagine the scene in John 8, when the adulterous woman is brought to Jesus. She knows she's about to die. Her fate is in the hands of an angry mob. She's not only shamed because of the sin in her life, but she's been caught IN THE ACT!!!
(I've often wondered where the man was in this story, because the last time I checked, it took two to commit adultery, but in any event....)
The angry Pharisees hurl her body, broken of any dignity before the new Rabbi named Jesus.
"Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. " (John 8:5-6)
Can you imagine what she must have been thinking?
What in the world was going through her mind?
Was she ready to leave this life under the stones of the angry men?
Did she have any hope that another man would step in and rescue her?
I've often wondered what He was writing. I wonder if He was drawing a message for the Pharisees to see? I wonder if it was the woman bowing down and pleading for mercy, and Jesus was drawing a cross in front of her? Scared she might be put on trial and crucified, she probably had no idea He was drawing a picture of future redemption for the very people like her that were accused of something He was about to forgive.
You can imagine the impatient nature of the circumstance. The men were holding the rocks in their hands ready to execute their well thought out plan. Someone was going to die that day, whether it was the woman, or Jesus had yet to be determined.
And with a tremendous act of grace, Jesus looks to the men and declares, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
One by one she could hear the rocks falling to the hard dirt, and footsteps walking away.
Again, the scene must have been traumatic.
A broken woman, embarrassed, ashamed, fearful of the punishment warranted by her sin, wept aloud as her killers walked away in virtual silence.
Jesus knew exactly what was going on. He waited until the last of the accusers left, and looked up at the woman, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
"No sir" she replied
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:11.
When I read this story I can't wait until my heart can react the way Jesus did.
If our daily journey is to be more like Him, How many times today can you say you've reached across the lines of accusation to forgive someone like that? It's forgiveness that frees you from the chains and bondage of the law. It's forgiveness that gives you the power over sin and death. It's forgiveness that let's someone experience the Love God has shown, not only in this story, but on the cross.
You've been caught in sin.
Your accusers stand to execute.
You're broken and spiritually you reach out for the hand of mercy for help.
Let me assure you today, Jesus is there.
He's not only there for a free hand of compassion, but He's there to share with you a life free from the sin you live in today.
He's there to lift you off the dirty floor, look your accusers in the eye, defend your dignity as a child of God, and let you go...FREE!
You see, so many people think Christianity is about some lame set of rules and regulations, when actually it's just the opposite. I don't do the things I do out of obligation, as much as I do them because the God of the Universe found me laid out before my accusers, and offered a new life to me. He gave me the dignity to live in this world free from angry mobs, and sinful shame. He reached out and said, "Andy I don't accuse you any more. Now go."
Isn't it about time you looked up at the teacher, and asked, "How can I be Free?"
For a life free from sin and shame, is a life on the journey to abundance.
Be free today.
Stop trying to justify yourself, and take heed.
Jesus has the power to forgive you and fill your spirit with a new life!
May He bless you today!