Forgiven

they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned.  But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them,“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it,being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”  John 8:4-11 NKJV

Caught. Betrayed. Hurt. Shame. Crying. Pleading. Begging. “Forgive me,” I cry but to no avail. No one will listen to my pleas. My tears make no difference. They drag me into the street and down the dirt road. Is that my husband with the men dragging me? Shame fills me. I look around for the man I had been with but he is no where to be found. No, they will not hold him accountable. This will all be on me.

We stop. We are at the temple. I look around at the men condemning me. None of them will look me in the eye. They know I am unworthy. I do not blame them. I brought this on myself. There are no excuses. Nothing I can say will right this wrong I have committed.

“Harlot.” “Adulterer.” “You have brought shame on your family.” The cries from the crowd surrounding us fill me with shame even more. Their words condemn me. I am to die. Why oh why had I chose this path? Instead of talking to my husband, I listened to the sweet enticing words of another. Now I am here. Knowing I am to die. I am condemned.

Prayers long forgotten run through my mind. I refuse to utter them. God will not help me. Not after what I have done.

“Look, it’s Him.” “Jesus.” “They say He is very wise.” “He says He is the Son of God.” “Surely He will condemn this woman.” The mumbling from the crowd catches my attention.  The Son of God? Here? I look up and see this plain simple man approach. Is this really the Son of God? My shame and grief now knew no boundaries. I hang my head. I cannot look at Him. I am not worthy.

A gentle hand lifts my chin and I am looking into the gentlest eyes I have ever seen. He searches my face and smiles. Jesus smiled at me. A condemned woman. He kneels beside me and starts to write in the dirt. What? What is He doing? They ask Him a question about me. He ignores them. They ask Him again and again. He stands and looks around. “Is there one here who is without sin? If so, then you cast the first stone.” He kneels beside me and starts drawing in the dirt again. A small smile appears on His face. He’s smiling? They are going to start stoning me and He smiles. I knew I was not worthy. I close my eyes and prepare for the stones to hit me. Tears streak down my face.

I wait.

And wait.

What are they waiting for? I open my eyes to see Jesus standing up, holding out His hand to me. He pulls me to my feet and looks around. “None of your accusers are here.”

I look around and there is not one man left. The crowd has dispersed. “No Sir, they are gone.”

Jesus smiles. “I do not condemn you. You are forgiven. Go and do not sin no more.”

Forgiven? Me, a condemned woman. An adulterer. He forgives me? I smile. I’m forgiven. I start running to my home, my feet light. Peace fills my soul. Jesus said I’m forgiven. I must make amends with my husband and my family. I’m forgiven!

I stop and look back. There He is watching me. He smiles and I smile back. Forgiven. I am forgiven!

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