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  • Writer's pictureJonny Nelson

Getting Seriously Busted

A few years ago I was temporarily renting out an old house from a friend before he gutted and remodeled it. The house was on the lake, right next to the golf course in a fairly ritzy area. Someone had just given me an old mini ramp and I needed a place to store it so I dumped it on the property.

Needless to say the old rotten ramp stuck out like a sore thumb in this neighborhood so I needed to dispose of it. I had lived on a farm for awhile growing up, and when we needed to get rid of something, we just built a big fire and

burned it to ashes. So I got some gasoline and torched the ramp. I had everything under control and the burn was going great! The fire was 15 by 20 foot with flames going up about 15 feet in the air.

One of the soccer mom neighbors called the police and the fire department on me. The fire truck showed up and they turned their hoses on my fire pretty fast. Apparently in the city fires must be confined to a 3 foot fire pit. Jesus had a few encounters with some serious lawbreakers. In John 8:1-11 we see a woman who was caught in the very act of adultery being brought before Jesus and everyone else in the temple. I always found it interesting that they actually caught her in the very act. How did that come about? And where is the other adulterer?

Yet here she stands busted, completely humiliated and about to be murdered by these men throwing rocks at her. Her very life hangs on how Jesus responds and his life does too! If he does not condemn her, he is overruling the sacred, God given law of Moses that says she must be stoned to death! Jesus writes in the dust and wisely responds turning the focus from her glaring mistake to their own imperfections. Each man leaves knowing they are also guilty.

Jesus forgives the woman. She is clearly in the wrong yet he just forgives her. No lecture, no timeout, no jail, no fine, no probation or community service, not even a treatment center. No prayer, no Bible study, no support group commitment. Not even an apology! Nothing! Just forgiveness! How can that be? Why does Jesus do this?

Colossians 2:13-14 says, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the debt which condemns us; He has taken it away and nailed it to the cross.” You and I may not be busted for prostitution but we have still been found dead and separated from God because of our sin. We deserve death like this woman. Yet Christ offers us forgiveness free and clear just like he did for her. She had to choose to accept it and she had to take action to live free from her life of sin, but she was forgiven, set free!

Once we accept that forgiveness we are commanded in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ, God forgave you!” What do you need forgiveness for in your life? Who do you need to forgive?

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