Rightfully Accused


The sky was dark. Threatening cumulus clouds billowed directly overhead and I knew that it would only be minutes before it began to pour. My heart was no brighter. My most horrid sin, something too abominable to even mention in public, was also threatening to overcome me. I would try to resist it as I had in the past, but I already knew it would soon have me locked in its vicious grasp once again.

Good thing it was hidden in my heart! If those around me had a clue about this struggle, I would certainly lose all of my friends, my wife would look at me with contempt and probably file for a divorce, and my children would probably turn their backs on their own father. I wouldn't be considered a good "advertisement" for my company and my boss would fire me right on the spot. Yes, it was a VERY good thing they didn't know about my secret addiction!

Suddenly, thunder screamed around me and lightening split open my heart! Someone had broken into my secret place! I found myself surrounded by thousands of people, all looking at me with contempt! I was caught, red-handed! There were no hiding places left. My sin had been discovered! My whole future was crumbling in front of my eyes. What had I done?

Hands took me forcefully by the arms and dragged me into the street. Passersby watched with curiosity, as if I was the town novelty, as I was hauled towards a large gathering and then thrown to the ground.

"Teacher, this man was caught doing ***. He deserves to die! Now what do you have to say?"

I couldn't argue. I did deserve to die! I was unfit for society. I was untrustworthy. I had betrayed all of my acquaintances by stubbornly hanging on to my own will, by blindly ignoring the hurt I would cause them because of it. Tears flooded my eyes as gigantic sobs began to shake my frame. I was ashamed. I deserved to die!

I tried to peer, unobtrusively, through my tears at the one called "teacher". He was bowing down, writing something on the dusty, gray ground. My sin, undoubtedly, or perhaps the means of my execution . . .

Accusations continued to heap up against me. I couldn't say a word to defend myself because it was all true. Not only did I have this addictive sin, but I had done so many other shameful things. I suddenly no longer cared what others thought of me. I had been discovered. My soul was empty and bare. Death was a welcome thought.

Then I heard the "teacher" say: "If anyone is without sin, let him stone him to death."

I was preparing myself for the first impact of flying stones, but to my utter surprise, there were none. What was happening? I wiped an eye enough to see the "teacher" looking straight at those who had hauled me here. Then he bent and again wrote in the dirt. Some of my accusers bowed their heads and slowly walked away. Some began to run. What was going on? I deserved death, what were they waiting for? I grabbed my head in my hands, desperately rocking back and forth with my tears.

After what seemed an eternity I heard the teacher ask me: "Where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?"

What did he mean, "No one condemned me"? I had been caught in my sin. There was no denying the accusations! But when I looked, I found myself alone with the teacher. I couldn't believe my eyes! But the "teacher" would surely accuse me. He would command my immediate execution! Wasn't that why he was still confronting me?

My hesitant answer was no more than a whisper: "No one, sirů" I wanted to plead for mercy, but there were simply no words to say.

Then I heard those amazing words from that teacher: "Neither do I condemn you."

What? Ho-How could He forgive me? I was despicable! I was untrustworthy! I belonged to the slime of the earth! I didn't deserve forgiveness! I looked at him with astonishment, when he said to me: "Go now and leave your life of sin."

All of a sudden the heavy burden that was weighing down on my soul lifted, and it was as if it were hurled into the depths of the sea. I knew that this forgiveness was much more than simple forgiveness, for I felt unheard of strength enter my body. I knew beyond a doubt that this "teacher" had given me victory over my addiction. I was forgiven, but even more importantly, I was free!

But wait! How was this possible? How could anyone care for me that way? How could anyone accept me after all what I had done? I wanted to ask him "Who are you?" But when I looked into his eyes I knew beyond a doubt that he was the one named Jesus, the Son of God. I was forgiven. I had been set free. My eyes again filled with tears, but this time they were tears of joy. Someone desperately loved me, Someone willingly forgave me, and this Someone was the Son of God Himself!

During this Christmas season, reflect on the reason why Jesus came to our planet: to bring forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Although without sin, He willingly died so that I could be set free and find forgiveness in God's eyes. He rose from the dead on the third day, proclaiming that victory was ours, thanks to His great sacrifice.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." (John 3:16-17 NIV)

Read over the verses 1 to 11 of John chapter 8 and substitute the name of the person standing accused with your own name. Your sin may be abominable to anyone around you. You may feel you don't deserve to be loved and forgiven. However Jesus Himself is offering His friendship and God's forgiveness. Will you let Him?

"'Then neither do I condemn you,' Jesus declared. 'Go now and leave your life of sin.'" (John 8:11 NIV)

Rob Chaffart

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