"At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first. until Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Women, 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.'" John 8:9-11
So, there you are, surrounded by people who had seen what you've done. It was your worst sin, one that you already feel terrible about and there they are all ready to throw stones at you... not just rock garden tiny white rocks that you can duck to miss. No these are big rocks. They are bigger than the hands of the people who are ready to throw them at you. They are not polished and shiny, they are ragged and rough, full of the ugliness of the world that they come from.
And there in the middle of the scene stands Jesus, He steps in between you and them, stoops down and begins to write on the ground. As those around you argue about the justice that you deserve He calmly writes in the dirt.
What does he write? You can't tell but eventually those in front of you can. As Jesus stands up and says to them, "If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Then He returned to the ground and what he was writing. The people watched him, taking their eyes off of you. Slowly the old among them drop the rocks and move away. The young ones looked perplexed as they finally look around at each other, notice the thinning group and lose interest, walking away also.
Finally Jesus looks at you, then at the abandoned rocks on the ground, and asks, "Where are they? Didn't anyone throw their stone?"
When you answer with a "No" then he comes to you, puts his hands on your shoulders and says, "Then neither do I....go now and leave your life of sin." So what do you do?
While the above is a personalized paraphrase of the story in John, it was how I pictured myself in this verse.
Standing in awe, waiting for the worst that both I and the others believed I deserve. Jesus walked in, stood in front and waited for the outcome that He knew would happen.
He knew that He had come to pay the price for my sin and all of theirs as well.
In the scripture Jesus asked the woman, "Has no one condemned you?"
Let's look at the word condemn - the Dictionary.com say the definition includes the following:
- to say in a strong and definative way that someone or something is bad or wrong.
- to give (someone) a usually severe punishment
- to cause (someone) to suffer or live in difficult or unpleasant conditions
- to declare to be reprehensible, wrong or evil usually after weighing evidence and reservations.
- to pronounce guilty
In fact in Romans 8:1 we are given the promise "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Don't get me wrong...it is not a free ride. My sin cost Jesus, His life. And I am called to repent, go and leave my life of sin. But because of who He is..I have no condemnation!