Last Saturday I attended a women’s conference. One of the speakers talked about throwing stones, as she carried a large rock onto the stage with her. It was not the kind of rock one skips across a lake, but one that is thrown at others.
Her illustration made me think.
What a horrible way to die. Slowly. Each blow from a rock, leading to bruising. Breaking. Pain. Until mercifully, it was over. In times past, and still in some countries today, stoning is for those that have broken the law. Committed an unpardonable sin. Those that throw the stones are sure that they are right. That they are above this sin. That punishment is due.
And, the stones are heavy and cold in their hands.
As I listened to the woman speaking, I was reminded of something.
I have been like that woman. The lost. The sinful. The one who made mistakes. My wrongs were not always known to others, but, still there….marking me….as the one that was (and is) covered in the grime of sin.
And, I also must admit that I’ve picked up the stones. I have been the one holding the rocks, to bash them against another. To break them. Holding on to the belief that they deserve what they get.
And the tears fell.
Aren’t the ones casting the stones just as needing of forgiveness, as the one who cowers in the midst of the the angry circle?
We have all sinned, and we are all helpless to save ourselves………
that is where His grace comes in. Amazing grace.
1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8 NIV
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… Romans 3:23 NIV
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 NIV