Today, I hope you'll read the story found in John 8 of the woman caught in the act of adultery and imagine being in her place. The religious leaders had dragged her in front of Jesus, publicly condemned her to the Law's judgment of stoning, and asked what Jesus had to say. But rather than answer, Jesus knelt down and began writing in the dirt with his finger. When they continued to question Him, He stood up and said to the accusers, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her," then He knelt again and went back to writing on the ground. With her life at stake, what must she have been thinking as this whole scene played out, and what relief must she have felt at the sound of the accusers slowly walking away?
Imagine her standing there trembling as He stood up and looked at her. There's little doubt that she had heard something about Jesus—that He performed miracles, that some said He was the Messiah, that the religious leaders wanted to arrest Him. But in that moment, she went from hearing about Jesus to experiencing the love of Jesus! She went from overwhelming guilt and condemnation to standing face to face with divine mercy! Then came those amazing words from Jesus, "Where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, sir." And He declared, "I don't condemn you either. Go and sin no more."
Can you imagine how her heart was opened by His grace and love? The most intimate wrongdoing in her life had been exposed to everyone in the community, and yet, His mercy flooded her heart and gently led her to repentance. He told her, "Go back and sin no more. I'm empowering and strengthening you by My mercy and grace to stand against sin." Real grace never gives us a license to sin. Grace gives us freedom from sin's condemnation and the power to say no to sin!
"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death."
Romans 8:1–2 NIV