Saturday, May 21, 2011

Writing in the Sand

John 8 ( From the Message Bible)

To Throw the Stone
 1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them. 3-6The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?" They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
 6-8Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, "The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone." Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
 9-10Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. "Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?"
 11"No one, Master."
   "Neither do I," said Jesus. "Go on your way. From now on, don't sin." 

Jesus loved to sit down and teach the people. He wanted the truth to be revealed to them. Unfortunately , like today, many just did not get it. Jesus was the most admired and the most misunderstood. His words of truth still fill the earth like a sweet aroma today. I am always amazed at His wisdom and demeanor. I desperately desire to pattern myself after His example.

I often wondered what Jesus was writing in the sand. Was it? " Her sins are forgiven." or " They accuse but stand accused themselves." Was it? " My grace is sufficient" or " Oh how I love her and forgive her." Maybe it was not words that the human eye understood or could read. Maybe it was something written in a heavenly language.  Maybe he was motioning the hand movement of writing and making a statement to the religious minded. Maybe he was revealing a part of His God state. Remember it was the living God  who wrote on the first Ten Commandments by His finger. Moses broke all ten of them as well as the people of Israel.  Maybe Jesus was saying, through the writing in the sand, a deeper message. The Law reveals sin and shows us what is sin. We need the Law to reveal our sin and for that purpose the Law of God is good. However, we need a way out for the Law did not give a way out. We need a way to escape the failures which comes with sin. Yes, this woman should have been stoned along with all the men she slept with. She deserved the punishment that came with the sin she committed. But Jesus was writing a completion and the fulfilled purpose of the Living God in the sand. Maybe he was finishing the finger writing of the commandments which was one word. GRACE!!!!!!  Oh precious GRACE!!!. This wonderful GRACE that I cling to and hold on to. OH THE PRECIOUS GRACE OF THE LORD!!!   Grace does not condone our wrong but gives us a way out from it. It ushers in forgiveness and strength to overcome the weight of sin. Jesus saw through this woman's sin and saw her heart.

Regardless of what was written in the sand, I believe it was relevant and powerful to the situation at hand. Jesus, with great wisdom and authority, stood up and asked " The sinless one among you go ahead and stone her first." One by one the stones dropped to the ground and the accusers left the scene. The oldest to the youngest left in that order. I believe in that moment , when Jesus spoke, Holy Spirit revealed the individual sins to each person standing there with a stone in their hand. The accusers were not wrong in pointing out this woman's sin. The word of God is clear on this point. She was defiantly in sin and she needed to repent and do it no more.  The accusers were wrong because they to had secret sins. They  were wrong because they were walking in sin without repentance themselves. It was not that they had sinned in the past; it was that they were still in their sins. Jesus asked for those who were without sin ( Presently). Present sin not past sin which would have been forgiven for. These accusers stood accusing while having deep rooted sin within their lives and Holy Spirit revealed that to them. This is why the stones laid there on the ground.  On that day, Jesus was the only one without  sin which made Him the rightful accuser of this lady. But in His kindness and compassion he turns to the woman, probably lifts her from the sandy ground, dusts her off, and asks where her accusers were. They were no where to be found. Jesus then tells the woman that she was forgiven and that she should go and sin no more. Notice that Jesus did not deny her sin but simply forgave it. He also commanded her to go and sin no more. Grace knows the sin is there and gives us the hope and power to overcome that sin in the future. Jesus gave this woman hope. She did not have be hooker anymore. She did not have to keep giving her body away to vulgar and self-centered men. She did not have to keep focusing on her past but could arise to a brighter future. Jesus gave her a way out of her sin, and it was up to her to walk in it.

That day God's greater purpose was revealed. He wished for none to perish to the depths of sin. He has given us a way out. He desires for us to be free. We can live without the control of sin. Do you believe this woman went back to being a hooker  or adulterer after her experience with Jesus?  I would think not. Once you have been with the Lord, your life is forever altered. I guarantee you that this woman did not want to go back to her sinful life. Her encounter with the living God forever left her a changed woman.

What is the Lord writing in the sand for our lives? Maybe he is reminding us of His grace. Maybe he is reminding us of the stones in our hands. Maybe He is revealing to us to throw down the stones and live free from our own sins. Maybe He is reminding all of us that we need his grace and forgiveness even more now than when we first believed. I know I do. I don't forget about my sins that my Lord has forgiven me from past, present, and future. I strive to live in them no more and seek His righteousness. This is what it means to be a believer. To be anything less is to be like the Pharisees who where ready to stone the adulterer. They were judging while unresolved sin was still festering in their lives. They themselves were just as worthy to receive punishment for their sins. For unresolved sin will result in punishment. But Jesus wrote in the sand for them as well. They too could taste of the grace of God. They too could come and walk in the purity of our God. They too could be set free from the controlling nature of sin. We still mess up at times as believers but sin is to no longer control us. This is what it means to be set free. This is what it means to walk in the holiness of the Lord. We are in a process and we need the grace of the living God to make it.

What is Daddy writing in the sand on our behalf? He is standing there with us ready to lift us from the dirty ground. He is there to free us from our accuser, SATAN. Yes, we have sinned. Yes we deserve the punishment of that sin but Daddy has forgiven and has shared HIS WONDERFUL GRACE WITH US!!!!

Stand today and know that His grace is there for you.

I love you all,

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