May 18

When Jesus had lifted up Himself, and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, ‘Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?’  She said, ‘No man, Lord.’  And Jesus said unto her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more’” (John 8:10-11).  “Neither do I condemn thee …” were not the words this woman must have expected to hear in her wildest dreams!  Can you put yourself in her place for a few moments?  She was absolutely guilty.  She had been caught by others in the very action of sin.  She had no excuse … no alibi … no one to stand to defend her.  She was absolutely guilty of the charges that had been laid to her account.  She had nowhere to turn for help. 

All this changed when she met the Lord of all lords and the King of all kings.  Of all that could accuse this woman, Jesus held the final gavel in His hand as the ultimate Judge of men/women’s sin.  Here she was in front of the one Who knew everything about her … the details of all her sin (not only the most recent).  There was no fancy lawyer to get her out of this situation.  I can imagine this woman, with disheveled clothing … hair strewn all over her head … face to the dirt … cringing at ever little sound … anticipating the bone-bruising effect of the stones buffeting her body.

Instead, she hears a gentle, yet powerful voice asking two simple questions: “Woman, where are those thine accusers?  Hath no man condemned thee?”  At which, I believe possibly for the first time, she raises her eyes to look at her accusers.  She is incredulous, seeing they all have gone!  Where did they go?  Why had they not stoned her to death?  Why had they not carried out the judgment on her they were so committed to on the trip to this temple?  She replies simply, “No man, Lord.”  I’m sure that she now anticipates judgment from Jesus.  He is the only man without sin in the room!  It’s still what she deserves.

Jesus had come to offer mercy and grace to sinners just like her … and me.  Praise God!  Rather than feeling the bruising effect of the stones upon her physical body, she realized the soothing balm of the forgiveness of sin from Jesus!  This is incredible!  Forgiveness in the place of justice!  Can it be true?  Can it be true, not only for this woman, but for me too?  Yes, it’s true!  I have been forgiven of much … I want to be willing to offer this same forgiveness to others who have offended me.  Those who have offended me pale in comparison to the sin Jesus had to forgive me.  I am thankful for God’s forgiveness of my sin, and want to be ready to forgive others as well.

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