Grace Wins Hands Down
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, 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 (NIV)
One day, as Jesus was teaching outside of the temple, a large crowd gathered around Him. In the middle of His lesson, the Pharisees came barging into the temple court carrying a woman wrapped in only a bed sheet. They threw her down in the middle of the crowd exclaiming that she had been caught in the act of adultery.
Every eye focused on her.
She felt the weight of every judgmental glance.
Every breath came with the knowledge and fear that it could be her last.
The Pharisees asked Jesus, “The law of Moses says we should stone her, but what do you say?” Instead of answering, Jesus bent down and began drawing with His finger in the dirt.
What a simple action that was the sweetest display of His grace. You see, for the first time in what felt like an eternity, the crowd took their eyes off of the girl and focused them on Jesus.
Yet, the Pharisees kept demanding an answer, so Jesus stood to face them. As He looked around the circle that had formed, He noticed that the people had already begun to collect stones. They were ready to murder the girl.
Instead, Jesus looked to her and smiled. He said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” With that, He stooped down again to write in the dirt. When her accusers heard this, they started to slip away. One by one, they dropped their rocks and left.
Jesus took her hand and lifted the girl from the ground. Then, He asked, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” The girl replied, “No, my Lord.” Jesus smiled and said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Romans 6:23 is clear that the wages for any sin is death. Often, we try to appease our guilt by comparing ourselves to others. We say, “Well, at least I’m not as bad as they are,” in order to ease our conscious. But the reality is, our hypocrisy makes us just as bad as the Pharisees.
The “Woman Caught in Adultery” could have easily been the woman caught gossiping about her friends, lying to her parents, cheating on a test, stealing from her mom’s purse, watching porn, drinking after a football game, taking pills, having sex with her boyfriend, or having a secret abortion. The list goes on.
If you are truly honest with yourself today, you will realize that we all deserve to be the girl who was cast into the circle. We are all guilty and no better than she was.
But, Jesus, with His infinite grace, stepped in to take the attention off our sin. Romans 5:20-21 tells us that,
"sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God, is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end” (MSG).
Grace wins - hands down.