Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust. — John 8:8
My failures are not fatal. ~ Max Lucado
Welcome to week three, the half-way point of the Six Hours One Friday Online Bible Study with Max Lucado!
Have you ever been caught red-handed, just gob-smacking guilty, whole body in the cookie jar, police lights flashing, no way to get out of hot water? Have you ever lost your reputation in one fell swoop? Of course, your spiritual slide didn’t happen all at once. But, you were able to smear on spackle to cover the cracks and layer it with a fresh coat of paint so no one knew the truth… for a while. Finally, once you got busted, it was like a sudden earthquake split those cracks until the whole house split in half and collapsed in a heap of rubble and dust.
Did your shady past catch up with you? Deception that you had previously gotten away with suddenly laid bare for all to see in the social media spotlight? Unexpectedly, your sneaky business became a notorious scandal and
instantaneously, everybody knows the dirty business. Twitter is on fire. Facebook is blowing up with notifications. It’s gone viral.
The sinful woman in John 8:1-11 knows that experience all too intimately.
You know what I’ve always wondered? What did Jesus write in the dust that day?
Standing in front of a self-righteous group of angry men with rocks in their hands quoting the Law of Moses as well as a half-naked woman who was yanked out of a married man’s bed in flagrante. I wish I could have seen the expression on His face when He looked at them… and then at her.
Imagine how it must have confused the whole crowd when He crouched down and scribbled in the dirt. What is He doing? they must have wondered.
What did He write as He gave that silent, profound lesson in the mercy, compassion, and unfailing love of God?
Did those stone-holders see Him use His pointer finger to write some of their own failings in the dust?.. Judging, impatience, unkindness, drunkenness, greed, selfishness, lust, lying, abusive language?
Did He scratch out a Bible verse that wrecked their hearts? Maybe it was Psalm 50:6.
And the heavens shall declare His righteousness, for God is judge Himself. Selah.
The raw truth is that we are all sinners. What’s that old saying about when we point a finger, three of our fingers point back at our own chests?
And yet our scandals, our flame-outs, our embarrassing spotlight moments when the private sin is suddenly shamefully public (or even when they stay hidden for now) are not too great for Jesus.
His compassion, His kindness, His love, His mercy, His grace, His passion poured out on the Cross are an unmerited gift that wipe out our stains before God Almighty so that we can enter His presence free from condemnation.
Jesus looks into the eyes and hearts of every single sinner and says, “Get up out of the dirt. I’ve taken your blame. Take off those filthy rags and put on this robe of righteousness I bought for you. From now on, beloved, don’t sin because it hurts you, it hurts others, and it gives the enemy a wedge into your life that will wreak havoc.”
Those failures? They’re not fatal… because Christ the Redeemer’s passion is for every single person He created intentionally and lovingly by hand.
Prayer for the Week
Jesus, we love You. Our Redeemer. Our Savior. You see our wickedness and You don’t turn away. You don’t pass the judgment — the death penalty — we deserve. You take the rap for us. It’s overwhelming! Help us to not return to those old, foul traps and snares. Help us to walk righteously and to shut out the lies of condemnation because there is none for those of us who belong to You. Hallelujah! Amen and amen!
1. Watch the video for session three.
2. Anchor Point 2. Read Chapter 9 “Cristo Redentor” in Six Hours One Friday. (For bonus points, read the entire section for Anchor Point 2, chapters 8-13.)
3. Go through the study guide questions on pages 175-178 and write your answers in your notebook or journal, or use this link [https://www.studygateway.com/download/7408] to download a free printable copy!
Scriptures this Week