It had to be a humiliating experience.
Caught in the act of adultery. Grabbed by angry, self-righteous hands and cast into the midst of a shocked and angry crowd. Thrown before a little-known prophet. Bared body, soul and spirit, and certain of only one thing: imminent punishment.
Never mind that someone else is just as guilty, for she has not acted alone. The man has slipped away quietly, but she is here, in the dusty street, at the mercy of her accusers.
On the surface it seems to be a hopeless situation for there is nowhere to hide, no possible escape. But then the unforeseen happens. This man, this prophet looks deep into her eyes, into the long forgotten recesses of her heart and offers a gift.
The gift of a second chance.
There is no condemnation but there is accountability, and a choice. The simple but powerful words, “go and sin no more…” offer this broken woman a glorious hope. Scripture doesn’t tell us, but we wonder. What does she choose? Does she return to a world of darkness and shame or does she take that first trembling step of faith toward the light of Christ?
At the feet of Jesus we, like the adulteress, have a decision to make. We can continue in sin, succumbing to its decay and destruction.
Or we can reach for dusty sandals and nail-scarred hands.
Only by realizing there is no hope without Him can we confidently choose the life He offers. Saying “yes” to Jesus is a rebirth, and the beginning of a journey to inner beauty and holiness.
Oh Father, thank you for the gifts of grace and forgiveness. Help me to turn from the world and its ways and to reach for You. Let me shout with joy, I choose Jesus!
…and Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 8:11 KJV