“Through grace, we are given something we do not deserve, and we have not earned. Grace drives condemnation away.”
On our honeymoon, Dee and I traveled up the coast of Spain into Italy and Switzerland. Dee was navigating with a paper map while I drove. We had just entered a bewildering roundabout, when she said, “Go that way!” I quickly turned...and heard a thud. Much to my dismay, I realized I had hit a man on a motorcycle. And, not just any man. A police officer! “Oh no,” I thought. “I’m going to prison on my honeymoon!” When the officer approached, I said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.” He asked for the purpose of our visit. A few very long minutes later, he returned, saying, “I’m going to let you go.” I was stunned. No ticket. No handcuffs! I had been given a second chance!
Have you ever felt the power of a second chance? In John 8, we read that Jesus was at the temple courts, early in the morning (v. 2). As He was teaching, with a crowd gathered around, the teachers of the Law and Pharisees pulled a woman before Him. She had committed adultery, her sin punishable by stoning (v. 6). I can imagine her accusers, with rocks in their hands, shoving her in front of Jesus. The Pharisees’ question was intended to trap Jesus (v. 6). Rather than answer, He stooped to draw or write in the sand. Many scholars believe He was writing the names of the woman’s accusers and their respective sins. He said, “Let any of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (v. 7). We can almost hear those stones drop. As the list grew, her accusers left.
Jesus’ interaction with the accused woman is a beautiful depiction of grace, the unmerited, undeserved favor of God. Through grace, we are given something we do not deserve and have not earned. Grace drives condemnation away. Jesus told her accusers, if anybody is without sin, let him throw the first stone. The only person without sin was Jesus! He asked, “Has no one condemned you?” And then, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (vv. 10–11). Jesus didn’t minimize or excuse the woman’s failure. We are all sinners and stand in need of the grace of God (Rom. 3:20–24). But Jesus said to her, and He says to us, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11). Repent, believe, and follow Jesus. That is our second chance.