First century people weren’t that different than any of us. They messed up. Except first century people were stoned if they messed up. What if that were true for us today?
Think of the times we’re called to just be a nice guy and let it go. . . . but, what do we do when we can’t? What happens when we don’t – because it’s too deep to dig out?
If we’re breathing, we’re involved with people. I know of more than a few broken ones struggling to get passed the hard-to-forgive places in life.
The gospel of John (8:1-11) tells a beautiful story. We’ve all heard about the woman caught in adultery . . . but she wasn’t alone. However, she was the only one dragged in to the temple floor by the hypocrites. She had to forgive a little more than someone just messing up. The humiliation and pain involved her heart – her life.
Jesus was in the outer courts teaching, when a bunch of Pharisees with a pocketful of stones broke in to throw half of the scandal before His feet. They didn’t care about her life, they cared about the trap they were setting. The Law of Moses says she should be stoned, but if Jesus says she can go free, He’s a lawbreaking Messiah.
Publicly exposed for her sin by the pious, she looks up into God’s eyes. The One who stands stone-free bends down to meet her lowness.
If He didn’t need a stone, neither do we.
He bends down a second time and writes in the dirt. Her dirt. Our dirt.
We don’t know what was written, except maybe something like . . . I didn’t come as a judge, but as a Savior.
We’ve all been hurt by someone and we’ve all hurt someone. We’re on both sides of the line drawn in the dust. Like the accusers, we hold a handful of stones waiting to cast at the mess-ups. Like her, we have sinned and need someone to stand up for us.
On a cross.
And, we have that – the only place where we find enough forgiveness to give away.