Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Powerful new movie

Recently I watched an interview about a movie called "The Stoning of Soraya M." They aired a scene where Islamic men buried a bound woman up to waist, and then began to stone her to death. The imagery was horrific. It reminded about the adulterous woman who was brought to Jesus by male religious leaders. They told Him that she had been caught in the very act of committing adultery, and how the Law called for her death by stoning. What did Jesus have to say? It seems they had Him cornered because He had to uphold the Law, yet He taught love, mercy, and forgiveness. We pick up the story:

"This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, 'He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.' And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, 'Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, Lord.' And Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.' Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, 'I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life'" (John 8:2-12).

There is some dispute as to what Jesus wrote in the sand. It was perhaps the moral Law--that they professed to uphold: "You shall have no other gods before Me, you shall not steal, you shall not commit adultery, lie, covet, etc." The Law convicts us and can stir the most hardened of consciences. Its function is to show us that we are all as guilty as the adulterous woman, in thought, if not in deed.

There was no doubt about the woman’s guilt and if justice was to have its way, she should have been stoned to death. But Jesus became her advocate against an accusing Law. How could He do that and yet still uphold justice? He could do it because He was on His way to the cross to take the punishment for her adultery, and her many other sins.

The Law of God also calls for our death sentence. Like the woman, we too have the offer of mercy. Have you repented of your sins and trusted in the Advocate that God provided? If not, the Law's fearful stones will fall upon you on the Day of Judgment (see Romans 2:5). You have God’s warning of that, but you also have His offer of complete forgiveness of sins:

"...And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (1 John 2:1-3).