“And Jesus said to her, neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
The story about this woman in the Bible tells us that she suffered a great public humiliation when she was caught red-handed in her sin. The Pharisees seized this as an ideal opportunity to use the situation against Jesus, so they could trap and condemn him. They mercilessly took this woman to where Jesus was and threw her at His feet. They told Him, “Teacher this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses commanded us to stone such woman. Now, what do you say?” (John 8:4-5).
During the time the woman was at Jesus’ feet she heard many voices. The executioners that wanted to condemn her, their eyes filled with hatred. They would have said to each other, “She is worthy of death. She has dishonored our beliefs and is just like any other ‘outsider’.” The woman tried to close her ears to avoid hearing their words, but they persisted all the more. Then the moment came when it ceased to matter to the woman what they were saying about her. Rather, she placed her attention on what Jesus was saying about her.
This picture is a typical description of the workings of the spirit of guilt, which is cruel, merciless, relentless, and irreverent. It is how the Devil destroys lives. Guilt comes to the minds of people like a pack of wild dogs that wait to devour their flesh, seeking to make them feel wretched. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger and said to the accusers, “Let anyone who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). This disarmed all her adversaries, and they all rushed out because their consciences troubled them. What these men meant for her harm, the Lord changed for her good.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
One of the testimonies that made a big impression on me concerning how to overcome guilt was one that Dr. Cho once shared. It was about a couple that attended his church. Although they were prosperous and seemingly had everything, there was a blanket of sadness that would never allow them to be happy. When the wife opened her heart everything that came out of her mouth was bitterness, frustration, and pain because of the guilt that dominated her. Due to an affair she had with her brother-in-law, she felt miserable about having to hide their situation, not only because of the sinful relationship itself, but because she had wronged her sister. Her experience made her feel unworthy to have the precious husband she now had. In reality, she had married to escape the situation. She had promised herself that she would marry the first man to propose to her. Although she acknowledged that she had married a good man, the guilt she felt would not let her enjoy her marriage. Pastor Cho told her, “Close your eyes, see yourself by a lake. I am by your side, first take a small stone (for me) and throw it into the lake. Now, you take a big stone (for yourself) and throw it into the lake. Both of them fell into the depths of the lake. The only difference between the two stones is the noise that they make as they fall, because both go to the bottom. So it is with our sins. Although mine were smaller than yours, we must both rid ourselves of them and throw them so that they fall into the depths of the lake. After she understood what to do with her guilt, she said a prayer and immediately felt that everything in her life changed. When her husband observed her, he was amazed because it had been a long time since he had seen her smile.
Believing in the accusations that guilt brings is to surrender to the Oppressor so that he can do whatever he to wants in our lives. In contrast, believing in the redeeming grace manifested through the work of Jesus on Calvary is like taking that big stone and throwing it in the depths of the lake. In this way, we can experience the complete freedom that only the Spirit of God can give.
"Jesus gave His life for me so that I can live free from all condemnation."
Today's post is an excerpt from Pastor Cesar Castellanos' book, Declarations of Power for 365 Days of the Year: Volume Two.
TODAY'S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: 2 Kings 4-5; Psalms 119:113-120
- New Testament: Luke 5:1-11; Philippians 1:12-20