Defenseless

November 21, 2023 by  
Filed under For Her

By Lisa Bell 

The door burst open. The woman’s ecstatic moans changed to screams of terror. As the Pharisees grabbed her from the bed, she reached for her clothes, a blanket, anything that might cover her nakedness.
 


She knew the possible consequences. The man they found her with was not her husband. She anticipated a divorce at the very least, but the religious leaders dragged her through the streets into the middle of the temple court. This isn’t good. One of them shoved her to the ground. His eyes flashed as he looked down at her. She shook and pulled her garment over her bare body. She looked for her cohort in crime. Wait! Where is… Shouldn’t he be here too? I’m not the only guilty one. Of all the low down dirty tricks! I’m going to die and they let that man just walk away. What is going on? None of this made sense. She had no defense – guilty of adultery. She couldn’t deny it. The leaders themselves caught them in the middle of their sin. But the Law held them both responsible didn’t it? Why did they let him escape? The Pharisees could stone both of them to death. The Romans forbade Jewish leaders from executions, but the look on their faces told her she was in serious trouble.
 
Then, she saw a man standing before the Pharisees. He looked important, but she didn’t know him. As the religious leaders talked with him, she became more confused.
 
“Teacher, this woman has been caught in the very act of adultery.” The Pharisee sneered in her direction. “Moses commanded us to stone such women; what do you say?”
 
The woman tensed. Who was this man and did he hold some authority that could end her life? She cowered against the ground. Fear filled her senses as she waited for the first blow.
 
An evil hiss reverberated in her ears. “You’re guilty and now you will die for your evil ways. You’re already condemned.” The familiar sound reverberated like thoughts she experienced every time a man approached and invited her to please him. She had heard that voice many times repeating “you’re worthless.” Bitter sorrow swept over her. For the first time she felt evil and yet remorseful.
 
The Pharisees kept asking the teacher questions. They demanded an answer. Instead the man stooped and wrote something in the dirt. Still, they persisted with the question at hand.
 
Finally, he spoke. “He who is without any sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
 
The woman winced. The hissing voice continued in her mind – accusing and condemning her. Then she heard shuffling feet. The noise moved away from her…many feet and then fewer until silence fell. The whispering sounds left last.
 
“Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” The teacher’s voice remained calm.
 
“No one, Lord,” she whispered. She looked up. She beheld all of her sin, yet compassion beamed from His eyes. Does he know about the accuser in my mind? But even he left.
 
“I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on, sin no more.”
 
The woman gathered her garment around her and headed home. Perhaps her husband might forgive her, but that didn’t matter. Her life would never be the same again. Without a touch, Jesus changed her. For the first time ever she felt free and unashamed.

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