In the Gospels, when reading about the woman caught in adultery, have you ever tried to guess what Yeshua wrote in the sand? Instead, did we think to ask where the “other person” with whom she was caught in the act with was? Isn’t he guilty of the same sin? What sin might the crowd gathering around her be committing?
In the Law, Deuteronomy 17:6-7 clearly spells out the conditions and purposes for exacting judgment on those committing sins worthy of death. Verse 8 tells us the purpose for judging the sin – to purge evil from the community of God. Was she the only one committing evil? Where was her partner? How were they able to catch her in the act without also catching her partner in the act? Two to three firsthand witnesses were required, who possessed a humble, righteous heart filled only with the purpose of keeping evil out of, not perpetuating evil in the community, to condemn the guilty. These witnesses had to be so convinced of their own righteous, godly heart in the matter and that the guilty party was totally deserving of death, that they were assigned the responsibility of being the first executioners, after which the community would follow them. For one to do this, he had to be confident he would not be risking judgment on his own unrepentant heart.
Now – with that in mind, why do you suppose Yeshua said to the crowd, “He who is without sin, you cast the first stone.” Because it was legal! The Torah required those who committed adultery to be put to death. Yeshua said He didn’t come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. He is the Lawgiver who said until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle would pass away. Matt. 5:17-18. Yeshua did not have an issue with the Law. His issue was with those who were attempting to twist it for their own ends. Adonai, in His infinite mercy, built into the Law His grace that seeks all people to repent of sin and be forgiven. Yeshua, in His infinite love came to pay the ultimate price for our sin.
When truly understanding the Commandments of God, we will learn that Grace and Mercy are at the very core of them.