John 8:2-11 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them,He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Several weeks ago the kids and I were discussing this story, and some of the things we discussed I have been meditating on. As we were talking about how Jesus told the people that the person that is without sin should throw the first stone, one of the kids pointed out that Jesus could have cast the first stone. I don't think I have ever thought about it in that perspective, but it is absolutely true. Christ was without sin-meaning by his own declaration he had every right to cast the first stone, but he did not! Instead of condemnation, he offered this woman forgiveness. Instead of righteous indignation, he offered unconditional love.
As Christians, often we are the first in line to cast the first stone, not at others but at ourself. We sin, mentally berate ourselves for that sin, then finally beg and plead for Christ's forgiveness hoping to escape his condemnation. But, we have missed the point. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Christ does not offer us condemnation, he only offers his love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
Unfortunately, we accept the forgiveness for salvation, but then reject the forgiveness for the Christian walk. In our Christian life we are so worried about keeping all the rules, doing the right things, reading our Bible enough, praying enough and witnessing enough. If we fail, we condemn ourselves, beg for forgiveness, and resolve to try harder. We fail to realize that we cannot do anything to lose the forgiveness that has been unconditionally offered.
Let us walk in the assurance that Christ has unconditionally forgiven us, that he will never retract that forgiveness, and let us allow that forgiveness transform our lives.