But what is He doing? He stoops down and begins to write in the ground... what is He writing? Didn't He hear what they were just saying? Here they stand, with a trembling woman held by the arms, waiting for a verdict-- waiting to see if He would obey the Law of Moses. Of course the woman ought to be stoned; she is a sinner! the Pharisees thought contemptuously. Let's watch this fellow take her side! Bet He will... now God would not tolerate a sinner like this woman!
"Jesus!" one of the older, wiser Pharisees speaks up. "Didn't you hear us? We said this woman has been caught in adultery-- in the very act! Moses commanded us to stone an immoral woman like this one-- what do you say? Jesus, did you hear us? What do you think should be done with this woman?" The men holding her arms give them tighten their grip as the woman trembles before the teacher.
Finally Jesus stands up. He speaks-- in a voice calm, and yet full of authority; it is nearly frightening. "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."
Silence. One Pharisee looks at another. That Pharisee looks across the group at another. That Pharisee looks down at his elaborate fringe, and then at the fellow next to him. He glances nervously at the older Pharisee who had spoken. That man is looking down at his fringe too. Then he takes a step-- will he pick up a stone? No, he is leaving the scene. Several men follow him. More follow, staring spitefully at the woman. The two men holding her arms release their hold and leave. She stands there and looks around.
"Woman, where are they?"
The voice startles her, and she looks at the man who had stooped and written on the ground. "Has no one condemned you?" he continues.
She bows her head in shame and guilt, and yet in a sort of awe. "No one, Lord," she replies tremblingly, yet reverently.
The man looks in her eyes. "Neither do I condemn you," he says in a calm, solemn, yet amazingly loving voice. "Go, and from now on, sin no more."
Her heart pounds. Here she was-- so close to death-- and yet this man has saved her. She turns and walks out of the courtyard, everything seeming to spin around her. As she walks into the busy streets of Jerusalem, farther and farther from the teacher, she can only realise a part of what has just happened to her. She knows she is a sinner, who has been overwhelmingly forgiven. And from the way each of those men left, she supposes that every man present there was a sinner too.
She is wrong. In that crowd, there was one man who was not a sinner. In that crowd, there was one man whose life was so clear and spotless, that He alone had the right to throw that first stone at her. But He didn't.
Instead, He gave her forgiveness. In fact, He had come down from heaven to earth for her-- for her, and for countless other immoral people, murders, thieves, liars, slanderers, rebels of all kinds, who DESERVE to be stoned to death. That's you, me, every person you've ever seen or heard of. You name him/her-- that person deserves to die. CHRIST ALONE, the Spotless Lamb, has the right to cast that judgment upon us-- that judgment we so deserve-- and yet He came to take that judgment on Himself, to give HIS life so that WE could live. We come away forgiven by our amazing Lord, while HE takes our sin upon Himself. He died in our place and gave us life.
This thought has really struck me the last couple times I've read this account in John 8. "He who is without sin, cast the first stone--" Jesus was without sin. And He didn't cast a stone. He forgave her. And He has done the same for me. Oh my, Jesus' love and mercy is OVERWHELMING!!!!
Since I'm on the topic of forgiveness/etc. I thought I shared notes from Pastor's AWESOME message today.
We've a Story to Tell to the Nations...
I. The message of redemption which means...
A. Payment has been made.
B. Slavery is unnecessary.
C. Freedom is available
II. The message of forgiveness which means...
A. The debt can be cancelled completely
B. The debt will be removed permanently
III. The message of reconciliation which means...
A. Jesus removes the offense.
B. Jesus satisfies the offended.
C. Jesus welcomes the offender.
IV. The message of justification which means...
A. Iniquity can be transferred
B. Righteousness will be imputed.
V. The message of adoption which means...
A. Strangers are made sons.
B. The hopeless become heirs.
This blog font size is not big enough to express how exciting that is!!!