For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24
Who hasn’t wanted a “do-over” at some point in life?! I mean anything from a move on the four square court in grade school to last nights family dinner attempt could qualify for a note worthy exclamation of “I declare a DO-OVER!”
A “do-over” in my mind is when you imagine time actually rewinds and you try again having no recollection (or choosing to have selective memory at best) of your first attempt achieving perfection the second… I mean the first time around! This is easy unless perhaps you were part of the family that actually SWALLOWED your first attempt at dinner —- their memory wiping is clearly not so effective! But are you not SO glad we have a God that can forgive and make new! Psalm 103:12 states, as far as the east if from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Amen for “do-overs” in Jesus!!
Let’s read John 7:53-8:11 to see one incredible chance at a “do-over”!
Man… did you see in verse 53 everyone went home except Who? In verse 1 Jesus goes to the Mount of Olives (Luke 9:58). But He was up early the next morning anyway in order to meet with anyone willing to receive Him! (Prov. 8:17 KJV)
Verse 3 tells us a woman is dragged in for accusation having been caught in the act of adultery! Funny that they all want to uphold the law but if you look at Lev. 20:10 I believe BOTH guilty parties are to be brought to accusation! So clearly this is an unfair situation and the Pharisees are just attempting to catch Jesus in the wrong. For if Jesus said TO stone her He would stand in conflict with the Romans because they did not permit Jews to carry out the death sentence (John 18:31) and if He said NOT to stone her He would stand against supporting the law of Moses (Ex. 20:14).
How does Jesus wisely respond to this “catch 22”?! He tells them in verse 7 that the one who has never sinned can throw the first stone… well one by one they begin to drop their stones until verse 9 states, only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.
The One who chose to stand FOR you on the cross in a circle of accusers is the reason you can stand unshaken IN a circle of accusers. (1 John 4:4, John 3:16)
Now lets back track to verse 8. It states, Then He stooped down and wrote in the dust. Many have speculated their thoughts as to what Jesus was writing there in the dust. Might I offer my uneducated thought?!… I believe right there in the middle of all her shame, and a crowd of what must have seemed like to her, the entire town… all come to judge her as a sinner worth more dead than alive…. I believe Jesus had already been touched so deeply by her repentant heart hung right there in her very eyes that He couldn’t help but stoop down right then and there and begin to rewrite the story of her life; her beautiful future as He saw it right there in the ashes of dust, Jesus was writing out something beautiful for her, a pathway to a future she never even could have imagined possible!!
Only Jesus right! Only Jesus could re-write beauty in the midst of nothing but ash-dust. When all we see is brokenness so extreme there are no pieces to even begin gluing back together… that’s when He uses that dust to write in. Dear child He says, in the dust is where I do My very best rewrites! So mourn no more and receive the oil of joy sweet daughter of Mine (Is. 61:3).
That woman got a rewrite that day but who of us has not been offered a rewrite through His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave!!? Jesus gave ALL OF US a rewrite and wherever there is dust you can now cry out for a “do-over” with a repentant heart and receive a story of beauty rewritten in ashes – amen!
Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life– is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34