ACCUSED AND ACCEPTED
By Carolyn Dale Newell
And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
John 8:11b (NKJV)
She stood there humiliated and ashamed as her accusers publicly condemned her before Jesus. After catching her in the act of adultery, the men were eager to cast stones at her, but the stones were already being hurled. Stones in the form of words. Adulterer. Tramp. Worthless. Had she heard these words before? Perhaps they had been the labels her conscience had given her.
Jesus stooped down and began writing with His finger on the ground. Nobody knows the words that Jesus wrote that day. What if He replaced the insults of her accusers with the words of a loving Savior?
Words like blessed, chosen, and holy. He replaced the labels of the men with labels of blameless, loved, and predestined. He could have identified her as an adopted daughter, accepted in the beloved. Redeemed and forgiven heir. Sealed with the Holy Spirit.
Jesus saw the guilt that tormented this woman’s heart. After her accusers left, He told her to go and sin no more. She had been set free by her Lord, the one who would soon go to the cross to die for her sins. He had lifted the burden of sin and shame off her shoulders. After receiving forgiveness, she surely would not return to her former life. Jesus rejects the self-righteous accusers, but He lovingly accepts the broken and contrite hearted sinner.
Can you identify with this woman? Are you ashamed of a sinful past? Perhaps you have haunting memories of sinful actions others have committed against you. Jesus wants to take away the shame and guilt, replacing it with His forgiveness and love. He has the same identity to give you as He gave that woman long ago.
Always remember that Satan is the great accuser. Jesus is the great accepter. What burdens do you need to leave with Jesus today?
We bring You our sin, guilt and shame today. We lay it at Your feet. Help us never take it up again. Thank You for loving the broken ones. Thank You for loving me. Amen.
Read John 8:3-11 for the entire account of the woman caught in adultery. Read Ephesians 1: 3-14 to understand our true identity as Christians.
HIKING THE TRAIL
Repeat these words: “Jesus loves me.” Do you believe that? Spend time in Ephesians 1 understanding who you are in Christ. Choose a verse and memorize it, or write some of the verses on sticky notes setting them around your home to remind you of your value to Him.
Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.