I have read the story in John 8 about the woman taken in adultery many times. For some reason I always focused on the fact that the man who was with her when she was caught “in the very act” had not been brought before Jesus, or I focused on His writing on the ground.
I wondered what did he write? Did He list the sins of those around Him? I think somehow I made it too complicated; and then I remembered that when the soldiers came to arrest Him, they asked if He was Jesus. When He answered, “I Am He,” they fell back on the ground. His very presence and the power of His name, “I Am,” made them unable to stay on their feet.
Then I understood why all the men who wanted to stone the woman that day left. They had come face to face with the Son of God. When He said, “Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone,” they knew He was the only one among them who was without sin and thus able to cast the first stone, yet He did not. His very presence, who He was, made it impossible for them to cast a stone. They knew only He was sinless, and able to throw the first stone. It was a knowing that goes beyond our understanding. Almighty God was standing before them.
What a wonderful Savior! He alone was able to condemn her. Only He could cast that first stone, yet He was willing to forgive her. That is why they left, convicted of their own sinfulness, unable to cast a stone at another.
Today all He requires of us is for us to realize that we are indeed sinful, worthy of punishment, and to ask Him, the only begotten Son of God to forgive us. He made it so simple for us, so simple that some just won’t do it. Yet so simple that the thief on the cross beside Him could say, “We are being punished for what we have done, but this man is innocent. Lord remember me when You come into Your Kingdom”. The Lord responded, “This day you will be with me in paradise.”
What a change for that man, dying as a thief beside Jesus, to living in Paradise with Jesus! All in the same day, because he saw who Jesus was and realized who he himself was and how much he needed a savior.
During this Christmas season, I hope you will remember that He was born into the world just to die for us, that He could rise again and offer us salvation…. It is the greatest gift of all.