She’s standing before the crowds — keenly aware of what’s about to happen. Will she feel each rock’s sting? Or will they all blend into each other — a cacophony of pain? Must they stand her here in front of all these people? Just get on with it, please. Oh, the humiliation. . .
Each time I read this story in John 8, I can’t help but place myself in the accused woman’s shoes — standing before all of those people knowing you have sinned and knowing the punishment for it. What kind of shame must she have felt?
She’s about to die a horrific death, and all I can think about is how humiliating it must have been to stand up there with your sin exposed. As melodramatic as it seems, sometimes I feel like I’d rather die than feel the shame of everyone knowing my sin.
And while I hope I’d never take it that far, I have. . .
- hid instead of risk my sin being outed.
- given up opportunities to serve because my sin would be on full display.
- not gone to church because I felt too broken.
- wallowed in self-pity.
But the story doesn’t end with her standing there condemned. Because Jesus.
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7
Here’s this woman about to die — humiliated — and Jesus tells the accusers if you are so perfect, go ahead and stone her.
Can you imagine the relief — the gratitude — the woman must have felt when all of the rocks were let go of and none stung her skin?
Hope For The Woman Struggling With Shame
If you are like me and tempted to hide and avoid because your past sins may be found, I pray you will take comfort in knowing there is no one on this earth that is sin-free. There is NO ONE that doesn’t need Jesus’ redeeming love. And I hope you find strength in what He says to this woman:
“Then neither do I condemn you. . . Go now and leave your life of sin.” – John 8:11
The only perfect man—the only one worthy to throw the stone — loves you too much to pick it up. Instead, this perfect man picked up a cross so that you never have to worry about condemnation.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
My Prayer For Us
I pray that instead of hiding our sins, we as imperfect, yet saved daughters, will repent and ask for the strength to sin no more. I pray that we see each other not as gossip fodder, but as women who are struggling right along with us. May we drop the stones and invite each other in and lift each other up. Oh, sweet friend, you are broken, but you don’t have to be ashamed. We are all broken.
Let’s unabashedly sit at His feet, dwell in His grace, and pour out His love on to each other.
The stones meant for us are sitting at the foot of the cross. There’s nothing left to fear, dear one.
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