We have all done something that warrants severe punishment.
John 8 v 1 -11, tells about a story of a woman caught in an act of adultery. Verse 3 ‘ then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 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 woman according to the law of Moses was supposed to be stoned to death.
This is the story of God’s mercy. Every single one of us is that woman. We are all guilty of something. We all have failed and done something we are not proud of. Mercy is when God spares us from bad things we deserve.
The thing that I find interesting about this story is that according to the law of Moses, both the woman and the man were supposed to be put to death. If this woman was caught in the very act, so where was the man? I think the Pharisees chose to bring the woman and not the man because of different codes of sexual morality that apply to men and to women, the double standards of sexual morality.
While the Pharisees saw a filthy woman who was supposed to be condemned to death, Jesus saw a broken woman and ministered forgiveness. Life can be messy, each one of us is broken, and to live in the broken world means we all need mercy. Cece Winans’ song “Mercy say No” clearly expresses the circumstances that this woman found herself in:
As I’ve come to see the weaker side of me
I realize His grace is what I”ll need
When sin demanded justice for my soul
Mercy said no
I’m not gonna let you go
I’m not gonna let you slip away
You don’t have to be afraid
Mercy said no
Sin will never ever take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no
Our God delights in showing mercy. His mercy always triumphs over judgment. While justice demanded that she be stoned to death, we see Jesus throwing a lifeline to this woman. While the law threatens judgment and rejection, the gospel tells us a beautiful story of a loving God who came to free us from shame.
Through all of my failures, past and present, I have learnt that the Christian life is not about the good things I do. It is about what Christ has already done for me. Every one of my failures has brought great grief over my disobedience but has also brought the realisation that I have a great Savior whose mercy long outlasts my failings, the realization that I am not the good news but Christ is the good news.
Jesus said to the woman, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” John 8 v 11. These words show us that God does not want the sinner to die, but to repent of all the evil he has committed and live. Jesus was not concerned about winning a debate about an interpretation of the law of Moses, His goal was to save a soul and reveal that salvation is only found in God’s love
So was the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, everywhere He went the oppressed and the rejected followed Him. They knew that He will offer mercy and forgiveness.
The law condemns us all. We all need Jesus!