The Apostle Paul declared in Romans 8:1 that “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. How is it possible to be released from the judgment that we deserve? Who exactly is our judge? And is He truly merciful enough not to condemn us? No place is this better seen in Scripture than in John 8:2-11.
In the early morning, as Jesus sat in the Temple courts to teach, the religious leaders brought in a woman who had been caught in adultery, demanding to know what Jesus had to say about the situation. According to the law, the woman should be stoned. If Jesus said the woman should be released — for whatever reason — they would immediately charge Him with not upholding the law. On the other hand, if He upheld the law and condemned her, He would not be the friend of sinners He was purported to be; and the religious leaders felt sure that His followers would quickly abandon Him. It seemed they had set a clever trap. No matter what He said, they would have a basis for accusing Him!
But Jesus said nothing. Instead He bent down and wrote in the soft dust at His feet as they kept on questioning Him. Finally, He straightened up and said to them: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” And then He went back to His writing in the dust. What did He write? Perhaps it was a list of the sins they had committed or the details of their conspiracy against the woman. We are not told; but whatever He wrote had a dramatic effect on the women’s accusers. One by one they dropped their rocks and walked away, obviously convicted of their own shortcomings.
Finally, Jesus looked at the woman and said: “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.
Among all the people there that day, Jesus the sinless one, was the only one who could have stoned her. Yet He chose not to condemn her. Instead, He released her! But Jesus also told her: “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
The same is true for us. He will not treat us as our sins deserve, and He is willing to release us. If we will put our trust in Him, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Jesus accepts us just the way we are; but He does not want us to stay the way we are! Like this woman, we are to leave our life of sin and go serve Him in a life of new-found freedom. We cannot remain the same after we have received His love and forgiveness!
I once lead a life that was far from pleasing to God; but one night I realized what a mess I’d made of it all. As I lay in the darkness of my bedroom I admitted my sin and I asked God for mercy. I prayed for Jesus to forgive me and to make me the person He wanted me to be. I knew I could not do it in my own strength. I needed to be given a new life. God answered that prayer. I am not the person I once was; but I also know that I am not yet the person I will be! Each day is a journey with Him; and each choice I make is another opportunity to trust Him as Lord of my life. But if you haven’t begun the journey of trusting Christ, let me encourage you. It is a journey well worth taking. Your journey — like everyone else’s — begins at His feet, receiving His forgiveness and rising to walk in the freedom and grace He gives.
Blessings on your day!
© November 19th 2018