Wiped Away

"having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross."

Colossians 2:14 (NKJV) 

Studying the book of Romans for our current Sunday morning series reminds me of a dream I had a few years ago. Try to imagine in your minds eye a scene that very well could have happened from the story we read in John chapter eight. The men who had just twenty four hours earlier had dragged a woman caught in the very act of adultery to Jesus in an attempt to trick Him and to ultimately find fault with Him so that the people would abandon from following Him, ended up having the tables turned on themselves by Jesus as each man from oldest to youngest left facing their own sin and failure while the woman who was guilty for sure ended up being forgiven of her sin and empowered to go and from that day forward sin no more.

In my dream these same men who walked away in shame the day before return where Jesus had written on the ground the same way people often times return to the scene of a major event in life, be it an accident or a crime scene or some unexplainable event trying to make sense of the seemingly senseless. Picture these same men returning to the very spot on the ground, the place in the sand where Jesus most likely spelled out dates and times or places along with the names of people or specific sins that each of these men had committed unknown to anyone else except for they themselves and Jesus. How could Jesus have known they must have thought to themselves? We now know. After all, Matthew 9:4 (AMP) teaches us, "But Jesus, knowing (seeing) their thoughts, said, Why do you think evil and harbor malice in your hearts?" God knows all and sees all, and in Proverbs 20:27 (NLT) it says, "The LORD's light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive."

All night long each of the men must have tossed and turned in their sleep knowing their guilt and being unable to justify their sin rose early and went looking for the Messiah with the hope of receiving the same grace the woman had been given even though she wasn't even trying to come to Jesus, as she was dragged there against her will. Talk about grace! Finding Jesus wouldn't be that easy as our Lord never stayed in any place too long as the crowds drew too much attention to Him and though it grew closer with each passing day His time had not yet come to be glorified. Arriving at the spot where Jesus had been, the city was still quiet as most would just be waking up and beginning their morning chores before heading into the city to trade and do business. As the men approached the very spot where Jesus had declared them guilty by writing their sins in the sand all they found now was a patch of dirt, almost clean as if it had been swept by someones hand neatly clearing the spot where something must have been. As the men looked around, it was obvious this was the right spot as it wasn't well trodden like the surrounding areas but rather was noticeably different, resembling a blank canvass and one set of sandal prints that resembled the very ones Jesus had been wearing.

Yes, just like something Jesus would do, He came to not just cover our sin and shame and guilt. Jesus came to remove our sin completely from us, never to be seen again. Imagine the expressions on these mens faces as the Holy Spirit quickened to their mind that Jesus had covered each of their sins written in the dirt, that He blotted them out as it were with His own hand. Knowing the scriptures as they did I wonder if the words to Psalm 103 came to mind as they considered the writing was gone. I pray they did. Psalm 103:10-17 says, "He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children."

Yes, this was just a dream I had that caused me to awake with joy in my heart thinking about my own sins that God has graciously forgiven and not only forgiven but has removed far from me, as far as the east is from the west which is and immeasurable distance as a compass moves because of the polarization at the north and south poles. East and west have no polarization and therefore never meet. If you go west on a compass it will never change to east nor if you go east will it ever change to west. And to think God has forgiven us as far as the east is from the west. And better still, His Word tells us He doesn't even remember our sins after He forgives them. It’s not because God forgets because He doesn’t not, God does however purposely choose to forget them and not hold them against us or bring them back up if we are to fail again in the same way. Every day is a new day with Jesus, loved one, Gods mercies are new every morning.

I wouldn't be surprised if the men in John 8 didn't rest until they found Jesus that next day to hear what He had to say. You see loved one, the law never justifies anyone. No one will be saved by keeping the law because we can't. We have already broken God's laws and is why we are in need of forgiveness and grace, the very things Jesus came to freely provide. Laying the law down on people and condemning them to death doesn't get people saved nor does it justify us. The wrath of God doesn't produce the righteousness of God in our lives nor bring men to true repentance, God’s love does. Thats why Romans 2:4 (NLT) reminds us, "Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?"

Yes, loved one, the kindness of Jesus that He showed to the woman and the men that day is what sent them away and brought them back the next day. Who loves like this? Who accepts sinners like this? Who forgives and forgets our failures like this? Only Jesus and that is why people came to Jesus then and is why people are still seeking Jesus now. Look at the Cross today and see the love displayed there. Jesus died for you and me so that our sins could be forgiven! Let the love of the Father draw you to the Son today remembering,

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

John 3:16 (NKJV)


Michael Osthimer





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