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Daily Devotional: “The Cancelled Stoning”

Have you ever made a really bad mistake in life? Ever made one of those mistakes where regret rushes to your consciousness with full force and if you could paint yourself invisible and disappear you would? You know, the kind of mistake that comes with brutal repercussions that you wish you didn’t have to face.

Well that was the case of the woman in Jerusalem that day when the villagers caught her in the arms of a man she wasn’t married to. Her emotions were a tangle of panic and confusion. She must have been angry at herself. I can almost hear her thoughts, “How could I not have foreseen this happening? How could I have allowed myself to be seduced by the love of another?” Now she was forced to face the fact that she would never see her family again. As untimely as it was, the day of her death had come and this was not the way she had anticipated it happening; she was about to be stoned to death.

Indeed, this was her harsh reality. A sin such as the one she was caught committing demanded a brutal death as stated in the Mosaic Law. But then mercy entered the scene in the person of Jesus Christ. If we were watching this moment of judgment take place on stage, at this point in the scene the woman’s character would fade into the shadows for a moment and the spotlights would be focused on her accusers and on Jesus. This is because whenever we sin, the first conversation in heaven isn’t between us and God, but between God and our accuser. By the end of the scene however, God’s mercy triumphs and the death sentence cancelled.

This story teaches us two very important things: firstly, without the help of the Holy Spirit, we are all susceptible to grave moral failure. At best, our righteousness is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), and as such, we have all fallen, some privately and some publicly. Secondly, sin should not be given an option in our lives, but should we be overcome in a moment of weakness and do sin, we have an “advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous” (1 John 2:1).

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