There are some very bad people in the world. Can you name some?

A terrorist. A child-molester. Your next-door neighbor who’s a jerk.

How about you? Are you a very bad person?

Some people in Jesus’ day were thinking of a very bad person. A woman. They caught her in the act of adultery. Bad, very bad.

A crowd brought her to Jesus. “Look, here’s a bad sinner. We think she should be punished. We think she should be stoned.”

Jesus asks the crowd, “If any of you is without sin, let him throw the first stone.”

No stones were thrown.

Wait a second. So it’s fine to have sex outside of marriage? Is Jesus in favor of adultery?

Jesus didn’t say the woman was right. Jesus was showing that the woman was no different.

Often we look at people as bad and good. Our mistake is not when we label someone bad. Our mistake is when we label anyone good. Our biggest mistake is when we label ourselves good. There is no one who is good. To earn a ticket to heaven, God expects not a life that is better than most. God expects perfection. Absolute perfection.

Who of us is without sin?

I am the bad person. I should be stoned, eternally punished by a just God.

The woman caught in adultery should have been stoned. She was guilty. She did not deny that.

Listen. Jesus says to her, “I do not condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin.”

How can God say that? He must punish sin. He did, by punishing his son Jesus. Jesus announces to this woman, “I’ve forgiven you. You are free.”

As a woman who knew she was bad, but witnessed the undeserved love of her Savior, she was free from sin. She was free from guilt. She wanted to leave her life of sin.

There are some very bad people in this world. You and I.

Thank Jesus that he came into the world to save sinners—you and me.

Eternal Life

“If you had been here, he wouldn’t have died.” Her brother, dead. Her friend, too late.

Martha had buried her brother Lazarus four days before. Her friend Jesus had just arrived. She knew Jesus could have healed him. She knew Jesus could do anything, even now.

Jesus says to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answers, “I know he will, at the last day.”

Jesus says to her, “I am the resurrection.”

Resurrection. To rise again. To have fallen in death and to stand up again alive. That’s impossible. For man it is impossible. For God nothing is impossible.

Jesus is God. Jesus is the resurrection.

He goes to the tomb of Lazarus. He sees the sorrow that death brings. He watches the tears that you and I cry at the death of one we love. Jesus breaks down. Drops run down his cheeks.

Death is an enemy. Death is the consequence of disobedience. When God created the world, people were made never to die. Unfortunately people disobeyed, and now they die, a punishment.

Jesus wept when he saw the pain human disobedience had brought.

Jesus took on the pain human disobedience had brought. He walked straight to the tomb. He insisted the stone be rolled away. He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”

Jesus is resurrection. Death was powerless before his almighty word. Lazarus came out.

Then Jesus took on the pain human disobedience had brought again. He willingly went to his own tomb, dying but not for any sin of his own. He endured punishment for sins you and I and Lazarus committed. Our substitute. Facing death. Unafraid.

Because Jesus is resurrection. On the third day Jesus raised himself. He was delivered over to death because of our sins. He was raised to life because we have been declared innocent of all sin.

You are forgiven! Believe it. Know that he who believes in Jesus will live, even though he dies.

Jesus took on death and won. Jesus is resurrection.

Jesus took on your death and won. Jesus is your resurrection.