Summary: We are given a Free Pass on our past, but does this give us a license to continue doing what we want when we want with who we want. Jesus makes it clear that in Him we are not condemned but must sin no more.
Title: Free Pass
CT: We are given a “Free Pass” on our past.
FAS: In an interview with New York magazine, the late Supreme Court Justice Scalia explained his beliefs about the reality of the Devil. After mentioning his belief in a real heaven and hell he interjected, "I even believe in the Devil." The interview continued (with interviewer in bold):
Of course! Yeah, he's a real person ….
Have you seen evidence of the Devil lately?
You know, it is curious. In the Gospels, the Devil is doing all sorts of things. He's making pigs run off cliffs, he's possessing people and whatnot. And that doesn't happen very much anymore … It's because he's smart.
So what's he doing now?
What he's doing now is getting people not to believe in him or in God. He's much more successful that way … I mean, c'mon, that's the explanation for why there's not demonic possession all over the place. That always puzzled me. What happened to the Devil, you know? He used to be all over the place. He used to be all over the New Testament. What happened to him? He got wilier.
Isn't it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
You're looking at me as though I'm weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It's in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil. 1
(Jennifer Senior, "In conversation: Antonin Scalia," New York (10-6-13)
LS: I believe in the Devil. I know hell is real, but I have a Savior. My Savior is one who has compassion. My Savior knows my every flaw and every failing I have committed. Yet my Savior took all my sins and took them on himself so I could have a new life in Him. Let me read you of the story of what my Savior once did some 2000+ years ago. [Screen 3]
Read John 8.2-11: 1 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. [Screen 4]
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Jesus in our text is surrounded by a circle of listeners. They are listening to his words. They were amazed at his words of forgiveness and were beginning to accept his message of love. We are not sure what Jesus was teaching them but we do know it was abruptly interrupted when a bunch of men burst through the circle to throw a practically nude woman in front of Jesus. These were respected men… religious men who had broke in on this woman who had been in bed with a man that was not her husband. Was this how she made her living? We don’t know.
They drag her stumbling all along the street toward Jesus.
The men shout, “We found this woman in bed with a man. The law says to stone her. What do you say rabbi.”
Jesus looks at the woman. Not with disgust but with kindness. He saw her as who she could be not as she was now.
He diverts the crowd’s attention away from the disheveled woman and draws on the ground.
They once again shout, “Tell us teacher. What do you want us to do with her?”