Short Meditations in John 8: 11. Redemption
Jn 8:11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
And so we draw near to the end of this interloping account (as seen by some), an account which presents us with possibly one of the sharpest conflicts within the Gospels and one which surely highlights the crucial foundation of the Gospel itself – Jesus came to save sinners.
Yet there are aspects behind what follows here about which we need to be careful. Jesus has asked has anyone condemned her and she acknowledges that no one has. Now be careful. This does not mean that she is not a sinner and that her act of adultery is excused. She is, and it is not! Condemning is about pulling another down, which is what the Law may do but which we should not. But that is different from acknowledging the truth of failure – sin. Her act was sinful, her behaviour with a man was wrong and God would not turn a blind eye – the Son of God would die on the Cross to take the punishment that justice would demand for this sin and every sin like it.
Jesus’ death would buy back the life that should be sentenced to death by dying in her place. This is what ‘redemption’ is all about. When you redeem an item from a pawnbroker you buy it back to reclaim possession of it. In heaven the song was sung, “you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev 5:9)
But something I saw when I wrote a series of studies on Redemption a while back, is that redemption doesn’t just apply to the moment we turn to Christ, it applies throughout our entire life. Throughout the whole of my life God is working to get me back on the rails, so to speak, get me back in line with His will, recover and restore me from the messes I make in life. It is an ongoing process that covers me generally as a sinner being redeemed, but also it means He is there working to salvage me from various specific mishaps, messes, calamities, catastrophes, that I might get myself into. Now how does He do that? First He looks for my repentance, my willingness and desire to turn away from that sin and put my life right. He then acts into me and my circumstances to restore both me and them. This doesn’t mean He pretends they didn’t happen but it does mean He works with me to change the outcome.
And with the woman? “Go now and leave your life of sin.” That’s it, is what Jesus is saying, enough has been said but that doesn’t mean you carry on as before. God’s will is righteous living and that does not include having an adulterous relationship. Stop it, bring it to an end. You are redeemed, live like it. Hallelujah!