My just judge said not a word but continued to write in the dirt. What was He doing?
The mob questioned him, pressed Him to respond. Should I be stoned?
Then Jesus stood. His eyes were not like the blazing eyes of the angry men who had clutched my arms and tossed me head-first to sprawl before Him in the dirt. His eyes were firm in their gaze but full of wisdom and, and truth, and something I did not understand—had never seen before. In that moment I knew that whatever He might decree would be just and right.
He spoke. His voice was bold and strong. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone.”
I closed my eyes. Every muscle tensed, braced for the onslaught. I dared not look. I had seen women stoned to death, and I willed my death to come quickly!
Moments passed. A cool breeze refreshed my lungs, gave me courage to open my eyes. They were gone! Only moments before, the courtyard overflowed with an angry mob. Now I was alone before this judge.
He smiled at me—not the way other men smiled at me, but His expression was, oh, how can I explain it? It was as if I looked into the eyes of Love.
He spoke to me—His voice was the sweetest melody ever heard.
“Woman, where are they?”
I looked around, again, still sure the leering, angry faces would reappear, sure I was caught in some hideous dream where I would be awoken in time to receive my just punishment.
“Has no one condemned you?”
He waited for an answer. How could I speak? “No one, Sir.”
“Then neither do I condemn you. Go, now—and leave your life of sin.”
I was free. A moment before, I faced certain death for my crime; now I stood completely forgiven. Not one of my accusers was able to throw that first stone. Before this Jesus, not one among them was able to appear to be without sin. Only He, this One Man, stood worthy to judge me, and He had set me free.
Not long afterward my accusers were part of another mob—one that screamed “Crucify Him! Crucify Him! We have no king but Caesar!”
I heard the tumult and hurried to Crucifixion Mount, but I was late. He was already nailed.
The darkness was suffocating as I scrambled through the crowd and up the rocky path. I had to see Him. I had to know who this Jesus was, to know what He had done to deserve the horror of those Romans and their dreaded crucifixion.
Midway up the mount I stumbled to a stop for I heard His voice, His cry filled with an ache, a longing. “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”
I slid back down that mountainside, away from the seething anger. Angry clouds boiled and seethed, violent winds tore the breath from my chest, but over it all I heard a voice–a voice of triumph. His voice. And the melody had returned. “It has been paid in full!”
Paid? Is that what I had seen in those eyes of Love? Is that why He had not condemned me? Something was happening that I did not understand.