Summary: Jesus Christ freed the woman caught in adultery.
Let’s open our Bibles to John 3. Charles Dickens’ novel A Tale of Two Cities tells the story of a man by the name of Charles Darnay. Charles Darnay was a young Frenchman condemned to die by the guillotine. But when his friend, Sidney Carton, heard about Darnay’s sentence, he was determined to find a way to save him. Carton gained admission to the dungeon the night before Darnay was to be executed. He swapped clothes with Darnay and the next day Carton was led out to be executed as Charles Darnay. Darnay then escaped the dungeon dressed as Sidney Carton. The free man exchanged his life for the condemned, so that the condemned might go free.
And in the Bible we have the story of Barabbas; a criminal scheduled to die on a cross for crimes he committed. But then the announcement came to him, “Barabbas, you are free to go.” “What are you talking about, I’m free to go?” “Yes, Barabbas, someone else is taking your place, Jesus of Nazareth is dying instead of you, and you are free to go.” And once again, the free man exchanged His life for the condemned, and the condemned man went free. The title of my sermon this morning is “Jesus Christ saves the Condemned!” We can see that in John 3:17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him”. Chapter 7.
We’ve been in John 7 for several months, and last week we focused on verses 37-39 where Jesus invited all who were thirsty to come to Him and drink. Then, people start arguing over whether Jesus is to be believed in or not, culminating in verse 53: “the people were divided because of Jesus.” So, anytime the people are divided, the leaders have to step up and tell them what’s right. The leaders are responsible for telling the people what or who they can believe in…at least that is what you think if you’re a Pharisee or a Pope, and so in verses 45-52 the Jewish Leaders state that their studied conclusion regarding this Jesus of Nazareth is that they do not believe in Him. You can see that in verses 48-49: 48 "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?” The answer is verse 49 is a resounding “NO!”
In other words, “you people who are ignorant of the Law may think He’s the Christ, or the great Prophet Who was to come, but we your educated leaders are telling you that He is not, we do not believe in Him.” May I just say, watch out, that you do not look to religious leaders to tell you what to believe, even if they have a Bible in their hand. You can learn from them, we’re supposed to learn from each other, but they are not to exercise authority over your faith, or they may possibly keep you from believing wonderful truth. You study, and you pray, and then you weigh what they say against what you read in the Bible. Because men can be wrong, as in this case. A seminary professor once started the semester by saying, “half of what I’m going to teach you is wrong, the problem is I don’t which half.”
And that brings us to chapter 8. we see 3 groups in this story: the Pharisees, the guilty woman, and Jesus. The Pharisees bring this woman to Jesus and make her stand before the group, and they say in verse 5 “in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women, now what do you say?” Verse 6 tells us that they asked this as a trap in order to accuse Him. So, this whole thing is a set-up, it’s a trap in order to accuse Jesus; they aren’t as much after her blood as they are His.
Now, let’s see what kind of a trap He’s in here. Look at the 2 options: If Jesus condemned the woman to death, the Pharisees would have taken him to straight to Pilate, saying, “Jesus, has condemned this woman to die, but that is something only Romans can do. He’s breaking the civil law.” See, the Romans had taken the right to exercise capital punishment away from the Jews. On the other hand, if Jesus said she should not be put to death, they would have taken Him straight to the people and exposed Him as one who would break the law of Moses.
So He is absolutely trapped. They are either going to haul him off to Pilate, or to the people. He is about to break either the civil law or the divine law, and either way they are going to be rid of Him. They are so joyful, because this is foolproof. They got Him. Like my 10-year-old son, Joshua, says whenever we play chess together: “Checkmate!” Got ‘cha! Never was there a better plan made by men! Or so they thought.