Jesus Gave Me Grace and Forgiveness
Every Christmas season, you usually hear stories of generosity pertaining to an anonymous person choosing to pay the remaining balances of others’ debts or layaway charges. These surprise blessings are a help and relief for unsuspecting families. Have you ever realized the only requirement to be a recipient of this type of gift is to owe money? If you have no debt, you are not qualified.
Now draw a line from that illustration in your mind to each of our greatest needs: grace and forgiveness. There is not a person past, present or future who has not chosen or will not choose to sin. With that said, Christ offers His saving grace and pardon to all (1 John 2:2). The cross is good news because it is needed by all!
I had broken God’s law and deserved punishment. (2–6a)
The scene in the Scripture is familiar. We have heard this account so many times that the woman and her sin are interchangeable. She was the woman caught in adultery. Not one time does she defend herself, offer an excuse or even blame the other party involved. She was guilty, and she knew it.
The condemning scribes and Pharisees did not care about cleansing her of sin. They were more compelled to seek to trap Jesus. I find it a bit absurd that they were quoting the words of God to the Word of God. Can you imagine implying to Jesus what you thought the Bible means?
All of us are guilty of sinning against God. (6b–9)
The words Christ wrote on the ground with His finger have long been a subject of speculation and debate. The act itself should not be dismissed as unimportant due to the fact that it has been preserved in Scripture. The image of Christ stooping down to the ground diffuses the belligerent group of accusers and causes them to focus on Him instead of the woman.
Combine the two times Jesus wrote on the ground along with His words, “The one without sin among you should be the first to to throw a stone at her,” and the mob dispersed. In the presence of the Almighty, we see ourselves for the sinful people we are.
Jesus showed me grace and forgave me. (10–11)
What had started as a crowd bent on judgment ended with a conversation with Jesus. This woman now finds herself face to face with the only One who could have condemned her or set her free. He chose the latter, and He does the same for you and me. Jesus did not ask her to replay what happened, nor did He pretend her sin did not matter. Rather, He chose to see her, acknowledge her greatest need and forgive her.
Some in our churches have self-imposed standards of their own making. By doing so, they lose sight of the One who has forgiven them in their most desperate times. Our churches should be the greatest dispensaries of grace and forgiveness in the world.
It has been said that Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. That is both true and amazing. And just think, it is even better than having your layaway or credit card paid off!
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi