One of my all-time favorite movie scenes is in the “Passion of the Christ.” In the scene, Jesus rescues a woman from being stoned to death after she is caught committing adultery. This short passage comes from John 8 and is, I think, one of the most fascinating in the Bible. The New Living Translation passage reads:
As he [Jesus] was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
As I watched “The Passion of the Christ” this past Good Friday, it dawned on me that we (Christians) are just like this prostitute. We are dirty sinners in desperate need of a savior. This woman was at her worst when Jesus saved her from her sinful ways and set her free from those who humiliated her. Jesus has done no less for us all these centuries later. He reached down, helped us to our feet, and rescued us from our accusers. We have been given a new life that we can use to glorify Him and further His kingdom.
What is most fascinating about this passage is that Jesus wrote in the dust, but no one knows what He wrote. Was it the names of the Pharisees who held stones in their hands, ready to follow the law of Moses? Did Jesus write the name of the prostitute? Or perhaps He drew a picture.... Whatever He did, it was not for us to know. The point of the passage is to show us that Jesus came to fulfill the law and set us free.