The Jesus Story is a story of forgiveness. Many times the Gospel writers describe people seeking God’s forgiveness from Jesus and Jesus granting it. In fact, our Savior’s first words from the cross were a plea to the Father for those who had crucified him: “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
The issue of forgiveness marked our Lord’s ministry again and again. The apostle John describes a woman who had been caught in adultery. Some Pharisees brought this woman to Jesus, hoping to pit what he would say against what the Law of Moses had commanded. That Law, you see, said that she should be stoned. Saying nothing, Jesus simply “bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger”(John 8:6).
I wonder what he wrote. Perhaps it was something like, “Hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:5). Whatever Jesus wrote that day, the Pharisees insisted on a response. Finally, the Savior straightened up and said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7), and then he continued to write.
At that, they left, one by one, humbled and with nothing left to say. When they had all gone, Jesus asked the woman, “Has no one condemned you?” (v. 10). “No one, sir,” she responded. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus said. “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11). Jesus had the authority to forgive sins and to set individuals free from guilt and shame. He has that same authority today. He speaks words of pardon and peace into our own troubled hearts: “Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
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Wednesday: The Jesus Story and Humilty
This devotional from the Lenten 6-week series, Life. Death. Victory.