Our verse for today comes from 1 John 2:1, ” My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. “
It’s one thing to read something and think you understand it. It’s quite another to experience it firsthand and know the power of its truth. The adulteress that the Pharisees brought to Jesus needed a lot of help. How many stories have you heard that included the statement, ” When I grow up, I want to be a prostitute? ” No, she had long ago abandoned any hope of seeing her childhood dreams come true. Even if she thought she was content with her choices, what joy was there in knowing how everyone detested her? Or what respect could she have in anything when she saw the hypocrisy of her customers enjoying her in secret and despising her in public? And here she stood, about to be stoned to death, or so she thought. Was she anything but terrified? Did she have a moment where she regretted her path? Did she spew out accusations to try and lessen her punishment? However it went, she was helpless in their midst. She was not just guilty of sin, her entire life was sin. So if anyone could have used John’s words that were intended to keep us from sinning, it was her. But now it was too late. Or was it?
This woman knew what she was doing was wrong. There would have been no uncertainty as to the consequences that awaited her were she to be caught. But that didn’t stop her. The fear of punishment rarely does. It might influence our choice of vice, but it isn’t powerful enough to deliver us from sin. What she needed was to know that someone was there for her. She needed an advocate, a fresh start, a cleansing. She needed a reason to choose something better. She needed somewhere to place her love, to give her a heart that didn’t want to sin any longer. That’s why Jesus said what He said. He didn’t mention what might happen if she got busted again, how He might not be there to save her. He showed her what an advocate does, how a Father cleanses and heals, and He let forgiveness set her free. That grace calls us all to put away sin still today. For the righteousness of Jesus our Advocate, go and stop sinning.
As we seek Him today, view every sin in your life as the one that needs to be washed away. Ask God to make you very uncomfortable with how accustomed you’ve become to something that you shouldn’t be.