Day 2: Love Letters in the Sand
She longed for love. To the nameless woman in the eighth chapter of the Book of John, love was fleeting, always escaping her grasp, like trying to catch the wind. "Perhaps, this time, with this man, things will turn out different", she thinks. Suddenly, the door flies open, banging against the wall. Several men, dressed in priestly garments, come bursting into the room and drag her out of bed into the street.
Sitting in the temple, Jesus is teaching the people when a sudden commotion outside causes all heads to turn. It's the group of Pharisees, shadowed by an angry mob, dragging the woman caught in the act of adultery. These men did not care about the woman. To them, she was just simply bait to trap Jesus.
"The law says we should stone her," their voices cried in unison, "but what do you say?" Jesus acted as if He did not hear them and casually wrote in the sand with His finger (John 8:6). Then they ask again, "What do you say? What should we do with her?" Weary of their continued questioning, Jesus finally lifts Himself up and speaks, "He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her."
What followed was an awkward, deafening silence. Heads look downward. A throat clears. Feet shuffle. Finally the sound of a stone released from a white-knuckled grip falls to the ground and breaks the silence. Then another. Then another. As one they had came, but they turn to depart one by one, leaving behind a graveyard of miniature tombstones, each one marking the place where man's self-righteousness died that day.
Jesus turns to face the woman, "Where are your accusers? Is there anyone here to condemn you?" Sitting quietly all this time, with her head bowed low in shame, her voice breaks and trembles as she tries to speak, "No one, Lord."
She calls Him Lord. She knows who He is. "Neither do I condemn you," Jesus speaks. "Go, and sin no more."
What Jesus wrote that day in the sand was an essay on love and a rebuke against man's arrogance and self-righteousness. Just a few days later, He would write another essay in the sand, this time written in red. Each drop of blood which would fall from His wounds and splash upon the ground would be another essay on love, and a rebuke against religious arrogance.
So don't think it's the nails which fasten Him in place on the cross. No, it's love which holds Him there. And what Jesus spells out so plainly on the cross is the same message, "I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more."