Monday, October 15, 2012

Getting What I Don't Deserve

Getting what you don't deserve.
"What I crave most when my guilt is exposed. The very thing I'm hesitant to extend when I'm confronted with the guilt of others—especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I consider valuable." - Andy Stanley

John 8:1-11
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.  
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

According to the law, this woman was to be stoned to death. That's the way the world works. Someone has to pay the consequences. Say I drop your iPhone and the screen cracks. A $200 problem. Someone has to pay the penalty. Either I have to pay $200, you have to live with a cracked phone screen, or you have to pay the $200. Let's say you tell me, "Don't worry. It was an accident. I know you didn't drop my phone intentionally. I will get it fixed." Despite my trying to convince you otherwise, I walk away from the situation. I just got what I don't deserve. I deserve to have paid $200. I got what I didn't deserve. Grace.

This woman caught in adultery by law deserved death. Instead she received grace. This isn't a story about not judging others. This is a story about us. We are the woman. Daily we cheat on God. And we too deserve death. Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death." Sin has a consequence and it is death - spiritual death and separation from God both here on earth and for eternity. Romans 6:23 -  "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." I deserve death. Jesus took my place.  2 Corinthians 5:21 - "For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ." Grace.

How can we not extend grace to others when Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice? He died for us. Let the grace that's been given to you allow you to give grace to others.

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