John 8:11 instructs, “Go now, and leave your life of sin.” This verse comes from the story of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11 who was about to be stoned by a mob. Of course, the only man who was “without sin” (John 8:7) and could rightfully throw the first stone instead, stooped in the presence of the accusers and “started to write on the ground with his finger” (John 8:6).
It is a peculiar scene of divine irony as the “firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15) fingers the dust mindful of the sixth day of creation when Adam was formed. That day was gone, here He was “bent down” (John 8:6), while sinners stood over Him. Even in this lowly state, He triumphed. No stone was thrown.
He tells the woman to depart immediately and permanently from her sinful life. He knew how quickly this moment would pass from her mind and heart. She had been given life in the midst of pending death. Her reprieve turned her towards God. She felt the euphoria of salvation but any delay in leaving her old life would result in returning to spiritual darkness.
All of us are caught in sin at one time or another and Christ steps in. When Christ shines His light and life into our hearts we experience the elation of salvation. But the great tragedy of sin is that our moments with God fade and are soon forgotten. Mindlessly we return to our old life.
When Christ prompts us to “leave your life of sin” (John 8:11), do not tarry, by all means, GO!
Denise Larson Cooper has a passion for Christ and sharing His Word. A wife and mother of two daughters, Denise currently works as a gymnastic coach.
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