A few years ago, Debbie and I were blessed with the gift of a new car: well, it was new to us. Our son Matthew and his wife Haley gave us one of their vehicles, realizing we were in need of reliable transportation. I was taken back by their generosity, realizing that we had done nothing which merits such kindness. In a season that seeks to draw our attention to the giving and receiving of gifts, I thought it would be good to reflect on an amazing gift provided for all those who have put on Christ.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
The scene is overwhelming, caught in the embarrassment of her sin, she is dragged into a public arena with no hope: Her sin, adultery. (John 8:1-6) Keenly aware, I’m sure, of the Law’s pronouncement that both the man and the woman are to be put to death for such a sin (Deuteronomy 22:22). But where was the man? Why is it just me?! It didn’t matter, her fate was clear, death is inevitable. Little did she know that she was a pawn, being used by the religious leaders as they attempted to something find with which to accuse Him.
He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.
I can almost see her glancing up in anticipation of the first stone. As she does, what she witnesses was the silent confession of sin: for one by one, oldest first, they walked away guilty of sin. They brought her before Jesus certain of her sin and left His presence certain of their own sin. Jesus asks the woman, “Has no one condemned you?” (John 8:10) Then she hears these words, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) Death was replaced with life! Sin and its consequence was replaced with absolute forgiveness, freely given to her by Jesus.
Our theme this year has sought to help us be more open to the opportunities of sharing the good news about Jesus. Hopefully you have benefited from the Sunday morning bible class and sermons. One thing is for sure- for us to speak about Jesus, we must first have hope. (1st Peter 3:15) Like those involved in John 8, the reality of sin is either discrete or clearly obvious; either way, the consequence is the same, spiritual death (Romans 3:23; 6:23). But our hope rests in the absolute forgiveness we receive through Christ, who “washed us from our sins in His own blood.” (Revelation 1:5) As far as the east is from the west! Lord, thank You for such a marvelous gift!