Jessica Albritton, Children and Family Connections Minister, LHBC
but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”]]
Recently I sat with a friend who had messed up badly. She came broken, humble and ashamed. As I sat there taking in her story of mess up my heart ached for her. She expressed she had no desire to read her Bible and grow in her relationship with the Lord, not because she was angry or indifferent towards God, but because she felt such shame from her failures. I reached over, embraced her, and we cried together.
Have you ever been there? Been so ashamed and guilt filled from a sinful action that you couldn’t bear to face the Savior? Her question to me over and over was, “How could I have done this? How did I let it get this far?” I couldn’t help but think of the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8.
That’s the issue with sin, it always takes you farther than you ever intended to go and costs you way more than you ever intended to pay. And in our own strength we try and fix it, try and make it better. We modify our behavior and try to gain God’s approval by our actions. But in doing so we often never address the real issue. We bury it deep and try to forget it, but when we bury sin and ignore the pain it brings it leads to shame and guilt. We try to fix it by better behavior but the problem with sin is it doesn’t make us bad. It makes us dead. Jesus didn’t die to make us good, He died to bring us back to life. Jesus came to die so you don’t have to.
When the woman was caught in adultery the pharisees and religious leaders drug her through the town and paraded her sin. She was pushed down and out. They shamed her for her actions and guilted her for her indiscretion. But when she was approached by Jesus He picked her up and pulled her in. He never condoned her behavior but He didn’t condemn her for it either. Instead He spoke absolute truth in such deep love.
Friend, sin was paid for at the cross. Forgiveness and mercy are free gifts offered to all those that have a relationship with Jesus! And that relationship is offered to all those that put their faith in Him! Guilt and shame are not yours to bear! Lay it all at Jesus’ feet and live in the freedom that Christ offers in abundance!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, thank You for the forgiveness and mercy You offer all those that put their faith and trust in You! Thank You for the fact that we don’t have to live in the shame that sin brings. Help me to live in that freedom! In Jesus name, amen!