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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – October 19, 2023

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – October 19, 2023

Jesus is Our Atonement

By Susan Smith

Did you know included in the Bible is a story not found in early manuscripts? It was debated whether or not this story should be included in the Bible. It is the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman. The 7 days before this story begins are known as the Jewish festival called Feast of Booths or Feast of Weeks. Jesus (and tons of other Jews) traveled to Jerusalem for this festival. On the last day of the festival, Jesus declared in the temple that He was the living water. This made people wonder if He was the Messiah. This declaration made the religious leaders furious. This brings us to the 8th day, the  Sabbath. It should be noted that writing in ink on the Sabbath would be considered work, however writing in sand, dust or dirt was allowed on the sabbath as it was temporary. In John 8, Jesus returns to the temple to teach. The scribes and Pharisees bring in a woman caught in adultery to test Jesus. They place the woman in the center of the court in front of everyone and ask if Jesus will obey the law and stone her. Jesus fully obeys their laws, even writing in sand.  Some believe He wrote the Law that these leaders were defiling:

“‘If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” Leviticus 20:10

Why was the adulteress presented and not the adulterer? Jesus responded to these religious leaders by saying that the one without sin can cast the first stone and then again He wrote something in the ground. Perhaps He wrote:

“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:13

From oldest to youngest, the accusers left until it was just Jesus and the adulteress woman. Jesus, the one without sin and able to cast the first stone, was with the woman who should be stoned according to the law. He chooses not to condemn her, but tells her to leave the life of sin. Jesus saved her from what she deserved. Jesus took the wrath of her accusers from her to Himself. Jesus was her atonement. Sin cannot be ignored, God is too holy for that, but Jesus brings justice and righteousness. Jesus generously lifted her up and covered her shame. Near that same place, Jesus would die on a cross and become the atonement for the sins of the world.

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2

This summer, through study, the righteousness and justice of God for the oppressed, the sinner, for humankind were emphasized. Sometimes the most restful thing we can do is to turn our focus from ourselves and onto the goodness of God. His teachings are to be shared. He is the source and sustainer of life. God be praised for His merciful care.

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