“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?”6 They were using this question as a trap,in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.
7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stoneat her.”8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 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.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”
Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
This is a story of a woman caught in an act of sin; as a result, she is condemned and humiliated by her society. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees eventually bring this woman to Jesus, not because they wanted to help her but because they wanted to trap Him. In other words, they decide to take advantage of someone else’s sin and guilt, hoping to find grounds to accuse Jesus.
Now this woman was caught in the act of adultery. Barely clothed, frightened, and filled with guilt, she was dragged and forced to stand in front of all these religious men. Can you imagine the horror she must have felt?
Eventually, the woman is placed before Jesus whom she had never met before. The question lingers … Will she live? Or will she be stoned to death?
However, Jesus had no intention of harming her. Instead, He positions Himself next to her and starts to write. Frustrated, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees ask if Jesus had made up His mind. Jesus replied: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stoneat her.”
With this statement, every person present at the time in the temple courts was made to reflect upon his or her own life and realize that he or she was just as sinful as that woman whom they were condemning. It didn’t matter that they knew the Bible or that they went to church; all of them were sinful and desperately needed to be forgiven.
Let’s look at what Jesus said closely. “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Did you catch that? Jesus was actually allowing them to stone the woman! He was saying the only person that has the right to condemn the woman is the One without sin. Now let me ask you – who among the crowd had no sin?
The answer is Jesus. Jesus was the only One who had the right to condemn and judge the woman of her shameful acts. But instead, He chose to love, to accept, and to forgive. He chose grace.
If we look into our own lives, we can always use more of God’s grace and love. We make mistakes, we sin, and we fall short. But God chooses to love His children. That’s why He sent Jesus. Jesus was showing the people that the greatest solution for our sinful and shameful problems is to be forgiven by the ultimate Source of love. God just wants to love us because we are His creation. In fact, He is so passionate about us that He took the cross upon Himself.
Christ’s warmth and love washes away the fear and shame we experience because of our sins. Jesus offers us a new start, a fresh beginning, a clean slate. This is what the cross is truly all about.