Summary: John records for us a moment Jesus spends with a woman after she has been dragged out into public for her sin of adultery to face the penalty of death, only to find the gracious pardom of Christ instead.
Moments with the Master Series
A TERRIFYING MOMENT
On March 22, 1824 an incident took place in Madison County, Indiana, which came to be known as the Fall Creek Massacre. Six white men murdered nine Seneca and Miami Indians and wounded another. Among the nine dead were three women and four children. The six men were apprehended and tried and some were executed. One of the men named John Bridge Jr. was sentenced to death by hanging for his part in the massacre. He was to be executed on June 3, 1825. His father, John Bridge Sr. and another man named Andrew Sawyer, who was John Bridge Jr.’s uncle, were also to be executed that day.
John Bridge, Jr., along with a large crowd, witness the hangings of his father and uncle as the crowd waited expectantly for a pardon from the governor. With no sign of a pardon, a sermon was preached as the crowd waited expectantly. Finally, John Bridge, Jr. was lead to the gallows and the rope was lowered over his head. But as the men waited for a signal, a cheer arose from the back of the crowd.
A stranger rode forward and looked the condemned man in the face. "Sir, do you know in whose presence you stand?" Bridge shook his head. "There are but two powers known to the law that can save you from hanging by the neck until you are dead, dead, dead; one is the great God of the Universe, the other is J. Brown Ray, Governor of the State of Indiana; the latter stands before you…" Handing over the written pardon, the governor announced, "you are pardoned."
In an instant, what had looked like a hopeless situation became a door of hope. John Bridge Jr. went back home, settled down, opened a dry goods store and died peacefully, fifty-one years later!
I told that story to ask this question: Can you imagine the fear that must have gripped the heart of that young man as he watched his father and his uncle die, knowing that he was next. Can you imagine the terror as he was led onto the gallows and that noose was placed around his neck? It must have been a moment of terror like few have ever experienced!
But, I know one person who had experienced that feeling. This poor sinful woman, whose story is related in this text, she knew that kind of fear. As she is led trembling into the presence of Jesus, she knows in her heart that she is about to die a horrible death by stoning. However, her path had led her into the presence of “the great God of the universe”. And, when she met Him, everything changed, forever!
I would like for us to look in on this Moment with the Master today. Because I want you to know that what Jesus did for this poor, wretched women, He will also do for you. You see, she came into His presence as a condemned sinner, but she left His presence a changed woman with a new lease on life. Let’s take a few minutes today to look at this passage as I share with you A Terrifying Moment.
I. A CONDEMNED SINNER (v. 3)
A. Her Sin
• According to our text, she was caught in the very act of adultery.
• She was guilty before the face of the Lord and before the world.
• We are all as guilty as this woman, our problem is that we simply won’t admit to it - Pro. 28:13.
B. Her Shame
• In their haste to bring this woman to Jesus, her accusers probably didn’t give her sufficient time to get properly dressed before they brought her into public.
o However that may have been, she was certainly humiliated by the public accusation and disclosure of her sin.
• Sin is a shameful thing!
o No matter how skillfully it is hidden from the eyes of men, Jesus knows all about it and one day it will be revealed before all - Luke 12:3.
o Saddest of all, the truth about your profession will also be made public one day - Matt. 7:21-23.
o Wouldn’t it be far better to get everything right with the Lord and have nothing to fear out there?
C. Her Sentence
• Her accusers were absolutely correct!
o According to the Law, she deserved to die - Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22.
o There was one small problem here: Where was her partner?
o Both were supposed to die for this sin!
o The man may have been part of this scheme to attack Jesus.
o He may have been allowed to slip away. Nevertheless, this woman was guilty and she deserved to die.