John 8:4-11 “and said to 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. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 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 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?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
I love this story so much because it shows us the nature of Christ. Yes, it is true that Jesus came to forgive our sins but it's so much deeper than that. This woman was brought in front of Jesus with the intention to be accused and condemned. But instead, we see Jesus who not only speaks TO her (not something common in that time) but also then becomes her catalyst for change.
Death was the desire of those accusing her but we see Jesus shifting the atmosphere of judgement on one, to self inspection, creating perfection for the criteria to cast the first stone. He simply asks, who here is without sin? In an instant, the focus is removed from the woman and placed on the individuals bringing her in front of him. He then stands between those desiring to throw the stones and the intended target.
He takes it on Himself to be the mediator who frees through applied truth. He actually uses truth to free the guilty. What makes this so powerful is that by creating an environment that makes it known that all have been guilty of sin, she is no longer the sole transgressor. Even more than that he doesn't just protect her for the moment, it follows her through her lifetime. He stood in front of the stones for that trial and they were never used at the moment or in the future against her. Everyone knew that to throw stones at her they had to be perfect, and no one was. His mercy protected her and carried her to change. He makes it clear to her that her accusers have left and her salvation has come. What a change! Instead of death he offers her new life.
This story is also our story. It is deeper than our initial act of sin being forgiven, it's the removal of condemnation forever. When the accuser comes to us and tries so often to throw “stones” or condemnation at us, we have a mediator. Satan will always try to speak lies into our life, remind us of failures and shortcomings. But remember there is one more powerful than all standing in front of you, protecting you and offering you freedom. He comes to silence the voices against you and extend mercy that will keep you in the moment and carry you through the future. His words never fall, they never quit speaking. Not one stone was ever cast at the woman caught in sin because the words of Jesus never ceased to speak and uphold the requirement of those coming against her. His requirement for our accuser is that all words must pass through the blood of Jesus. When that happens, accusations are silenced and the Savior takes over. He offers forgiveness with no attachments to who we used to be. He takes the power of accusation away and extends the invitation to walk into a NEW life with Him.
Pastor Natalie Snider