only Jesus was left….(John 8:9)
Have you ever felt like you stood in a room full of accusers?
Each time you turned around a new voice was there to speak venomous words of incrimination against you. You feel trapped by their persecution. You are surrounded. How will you ever find victory over their words that always cut to the heart of your fears and insecurities?
Most recently, the room I’ve been entering into is one that says, “Heather, you are of little value. This was your last chance. You are defined by your past and what has happened to you.”
The teacher’s of the law brought a woman caught in adultery before Jesus. They were ready to stone her and put her to death for her sin. To them she was guilty, and there was no chance of redemption over her past sins.
As the woman caught in adultery was forced to stand before the crowd I can only picture her with head hanging in shame and despair. It seemed as though her fate was death and her sin irredeemable. Some commentators even believe its possible this woman was being raped while she was “caught in the act of adultery.” Therefore, if that’s the case this sin was no fault of her own but was inflicted upon her. Sometimes, the enemy loves to shout into our soul that the sin that was caused against us is OUR fault. He whispers into our hearts that we have been tainted and we will now carry the burden of our shame everywhere we go.
In cases of abuse, it is easy for the victim to feel like it was their fault. If this woman was indeed being raped I can only imagine how she must have been feeling at this moment. The shame would have sung a song of guilt into her soul. She would have believed that, after all, she could have stopped it. She should have. Therefore, it wasn’t done to her, it was because of her failures. Such lies, but shame has a way of singing those lies deep within our hearts.
Even if this woman wasn’t being raped, Jesus saw into her heart. I believe if she was indeed caught in the act of adultery He saw within her a broken and contrite heart. He says, “if anyone is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” (vs. 7)
All of the sudden, the room full of accusers, one by one walk away. I can picture the scene now. The woman, head still hanging in shame and despair begins to hear the stones fall to the ground. Jesus stands up. Is it possible He approaches her to lift her head? Maybe, either way, He says to her as she lifts her head to take in the scene before her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.”
Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11)
Can you imagine the liberation this woman must have felt in this moment? The freedom that must have sung in her heart the moment she received grace must have been overwhelming.
The same grace remains for us too. When the room full of accusers start to shout their venomous and malevolent accusations at us we need not fear. With broken and contrite hearts, we can approach the throne of grace, taking every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. As we give Him our shame, He lifts our head. We lock eyes with Him and see the room is now empty. Now there remains only us and our Lord, the lifter of our heads. Our joy, delight, and victory stand before us with grace.
Do not become overwhelmed by the words of the accuser, but rest in the grace of God. Invite Jesus into your heart and mind and understand that you can rest safe and secure in His grace. As you do this, the accusers all walk away, one at a time, and you are left with your Lord and His love that dances over you.
Jesus, you sing over me. You love me. You dance over me. You lift my head away from shame and towards the light of your grace. Thank you for setting me free. Today, I want to live in the place of victory, for your namesake and power, in Jesus name, amen!