I have been watching documentaries on the riches of the Roman ruins from the time around Nero and his successor emperors. What is described is amazing – the chards of rubble they pull up have beautiful frescos – but both time and friction between enemies caused these palaces to crumble and be crumbled. Also buried are over 200 amphitheatres all thru the former Roman Empire. Nothing lasts forever.
Except Jesus – and the Word He is – and that He wrote.
Except one thing He wrote – was gone surely as soon as He wrote it. Surely whatever Jesus wrote in the ground in the middle of accusations of the adulterous woman by Pharisees and scribes (who were actually trying to trap Jesus), was washed away, swept away, kicked away, trampled away. Jesus stoops down and writes on the ground (the dirt or the sand) before speaking. Then He did speak but went down to write again and remained there quiet while the accusers were certainly thinking quietly too. Convicted. He had just challenged them: “the one without sin cast the first stone”.
The stones vs the Rock. No competition.
The accusers left. I wonder if they wondered what He was writing too. [interesting that in this scene, scribes of the law were face to face with the Word Himself – but they were blind to the text of the moment.]
Jesus is our Rock on which we build our hope. We never want to drop Him. He is bigger than us and lowered Himself below us in order to raise us up. We won’t ever lose Him as He never loses us.
The writings of Jesus here were in the dirt or the sand, unlike the stone tablets of the law written for Moses. We don’t know what writing this was but that writing, like the accusations, would have washed away, blown away, been trampled away. Gone. Just like our sins – GONE – by His cleansing and sacrifice to take upon our dirt unto Himself.
Even the stones, had they been used against the woman or not, would have eventually been repurposed or rolled aside, Perhaps crushed and eroded over time. The foundation of a new garden perhaps, or made into a road. Nothing can be more permanent than the Rock Himself. Everything else crumbles in comparison.
By Jesus’s Word, we are assured. By His actions, we are healed. By His writing, we are reminded.
What today can we ask Jesus to wash away – to move out of our sight – to help us start fresh. The woman was released into a new opportunity to not sin again and her stones blocked by the Rock that stood in front of her – not for her to run away – but for her to start again. Her past put aside, Jesus gave her (and us) a clean slate.
New Jesus is free to write on our hearts, because HE cleaned them.
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.