By Andrea Garzon and Ole Henrik Skjelstad
The episode with the woman caught in adultery took place in the temple as recounted in John 8. She was brought there by her accusers (the law). In the temple we find Jesus receiving both the accusers and the woman. Let it be understood that we are that temple. As the events proceed we are faced with the stunning fact that accusations cannot be brought forth in the temple. There is Someone in there who strips the accusers of all credibility and authority.
The Scribes and Pharisees wanted to stone the woman (you and I), that is, throw the law at the woman with it requirements and ordinances and its merciless administration of punishment. But, Jesus simply bowed down and calmly wrote in the dust ignoring their accusations. The imagery is stunning considering the first man was formed from dust.
The account tells us that Jesus wrote twice in the dust. First to demonstrate that He was the fulfillment of the law and that it was the Father’s finger who had engraved the law on the tablets of stone, and thus He was above the law. The second time He stooped down to write in the dust it was to make evident that when the woman met Jesus in the temple she had become His and that He had signed her with His signature. She had crossed the unbridgeable chasm between life and death by His grace.
The law was given by angels in the hand of a mediator (Moses). The law of life is written directly into our hearts by Jesus. Therefore He could say to the woman: Go and sin no more. Was there any process involved in this change of regime in the woman? No, it wasn’t. Did Jesus throw at her at whole bunch of exhortations such as: “Now you have to die to self” “You must love God” “You have to prove your devotion to me by growing fruit” “You have to pray and read your Bible every day”? No, He didn’t. She left Him as complete and perfected in Him. All that which remained for her to discover was the totality of His work in her, that she really was a new creation, and that His words would prove true in all sorts of temptations.
Adultery is basically being in a union with the usurper, the one who by trickery took possession of us. It is , most vital that we understand sin as a person; Satan. Since sin is directly referring to the union with the usurper, the “go and sin no more” has to refer to the following as well: “Woman, now you have One husband. The One who is righteousness.” The reason why Jesus could say: “if anyone of you is without sin, throw the first stone” was because those He addressed were all adulterers. They were all in an adulterous relationship with Satan.
The Scribes and Pharisees withdraw one by one equally condemned and accused by the law. However, they didn’t come to Jesus for life.
The law can only accuse us of not being good enough. However, Jesus has nailed it to the cross with its requirements and ordinances. Hence nothing can be brought against us as Jesus so wonderfully demonstrates in this story. We carry His signature and He dwells in His temple forever and ever. He has made us His abode, His resting place.