“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” John 8:4-5
It goes without saying we have all been “caught” in our sins. I could easily insert my name in this verse. I may not have been caught in the act of adultery, but I could offer up a number of choice sins from my life that I have been caught in. Experiencing the guilt and shame, and facing the consequences for those bad choices.
That’s the problem with sin. It always takes you farther than you meant to go. Keeps you longer than you meant to stay. And costs you more than you meant to pay.
In our own way of thinking, we often categorize people and make the snare they fell into their identity. When people looked at this woman, all they saw was an adulterer deserving to be stoned. We could all hold those rocks in our fists like the Pharisees when we find those deserving to be condemned. That is until we remember our own sin.
In reply to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees’ question, Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” John 8:7-11
Could Jesus have condemned the woman? Yes, He could have. Jesus did not minimize her sin. He wanted to offer her something greater than her sin. His grace. Instead of the punishment of death she deserved, Jesus offered the adulterous woman forgiveness.
This woman’s story has always given me hope for my own shameful past. Knowing that God’s grace covers every scandalous thing we have ever done. Knowing that Jesus looks at us and still loves us for who we are, in spite of who we are. Knowing that, “God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
Will you leave the past with Jesus and trust Him for your future?
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Cheryl Crawford is a daughter of the Most High King, saved by grace. Her degree and field of work are in accounting, but would trade it all to farm if she could. She enjoys reading, writing, gardening, SEC football and playing cards with friends. Cheryl is a natural organizer with a heart that loves to serve. You can read more about Cheryl on her BoP bio.
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