Read Beautiful surrender here
I was basking in the throes of pleasure, savoring every moment of my escapade with the man atop of me when the wooden door slammed open, startling us both. I turned my head swiftly, just in time to see Teacher Phadel and Teacher Raba, teachers from the tabernacle, pointing their fingers at me.
“Grab her! Don’t let her escape!” they screamed.
Three hefty men, whom I recognized to be servants in the tabernacle rushed into the room just as my partner scurried away to a far corner of the room, struggling to put his trousers on while hoping that my captors wouldn’t come for him as well.
I reached for my gown at the foot of the bed just as one of the servants grabbed my hand. He dragged me down to the floor and I screamed in terror.
“Please let me cover up my nakedness! Please!”
Teacher Raba kicked me from behind. “Shut up, you adulterous vagabond! You have the guts to sleep with another woman’s husband? We will teach you an unforgettable lesson today!”
I tried to wrestle my hand free from my captor as he dragged me on the marble floor but his grip was tight, too tight. I cried out again in shame and helplessness.
“Please, cover up my nakedness!”
A firm kick at my side sent searing pain from my spinal cord, all the way to my fingers and toes. I staggered and fell.
“Shut up!” Teacher Phadel bellowed. “By the time we stone you to death, you will be more concerned about meeting your maker than covering up your shameless body. Harlot!”
Hot tears streamed down my face as my captor roughly pulled me up from the ground and pushed me into motion. As we stepped out of the dilapidated low-cost brothel into the fierceness of the blazing February sun, I was awash with embarrassment. My captors didn’t care that the hot sun pierced my naked skin, neither did they care that a small crowd had gathered behind me. I could hear their taunting whispers.
“Every day is for the thief, one day is for the owner of the farm”, I heard someone say.
“It’s a pity that such a beautiful young woman would die just like that.” Another said.
“Pity? I do not pity her. I only pity her aged mother. The shame will be too much for her to bear.”
In that brief moment, Mother’s image flashed in my head. I could imagine the look of horror and dismay on her face when she would be told that her precious daughter was being stoned to death for having sexual intercourse with another woman’s husband. It didn’t matter that it was Matthias who came to me with empty promises. It didn’t matter that all I wanted to do was give him pleasure in exchange for money. Nothing else mattered, except that in a few moments, my lifeless body would be hung for all women in the village to look upon and learn their lessons.
As we trudged on the stony pathway, I did my best to cover my nakedness with my free hand, but my captor’s pace was too fast to keep up with. I found myself stumbling, standing, crawling and stumbling again.
I knew where they were taking me to- the market square, where my private disobedience of the law would be publicly punished. I shuddered as I remembered Olivet, the woman who was stoned to death few weeks back. Her screams of pain and agony rang out loud in my head and I fell to the ground, again.
“Water,” I whispered hoarsely. “I need water.”
My captor stared at me lewdly. “You do not deserve water,” he said through clenched teeth. “You deserve to die!”
I shuddered again.
“Stand up!” He commanded, pulling me by my hair. I winced as I stood on wobbling legs. The crowd stared at me, some in open contempt, others in pity.
Someone threw an old wrapper at me and I grabbed it with great relief. I turned my head to see the person that had taken the risk to cover up my shame, but Teacher Raba’s rough palm landed firmly on my sunburnt cheek.
“Walk faster,” he gruntled. “We must get to Him before He leaves the Tabernacle.”
“Him? Who was him?” I wondered to myself. “The Chief Priest? Why were they taking me to the Chief Priest? Would he spare me?” My mind was in total disarray as my thoughts rumbled into each other.
Finally, after a long grueling walk, we arrived at the Tabernacle. I hesitated at the entrance door but Teacher Phadel pushed me inside and I fell flat on my face. I was too exhausted to pick myself up. Teacher Raba grabbed my left hand while another Teacher whom I didn’t know grabbed my right hand and together, they dragged me towards the altar of the tabernacle. I closed my eyes, not knowing if they were taking me to a blazing furnace or to the Holy of Holies where the Almighty One would strike me dead in a heartbeat.
Suddenly, they let go of my hands and I dropped to the ground with a loud thud. All was silent, so silent that all I could hear was the loud thumping of my heart. Slowly, I opened my eyes and they fell on a beautiful set of feet. My eyes travelled up and when I saw his face, I exhaled sharply. It was Him. Rabbi! I had always seen him from afar and I knew he was handsome, but looking at him up-close, I realized her was beyond handsome. He was incredibly beautiful, and there was an air of radiance around him. As fast as lightning, I bowed my head in humiliation and swallowed a sob. Surely, my death sentence was as sure as the next Passover festival.
Teacher Phadel cleared his throat. “Rabbi, this shameless woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. According to the law of Moses, she should be stoned. What do you say about this?”
There was mumbling from the crowd that had followed me into the tabernacle. My head remained buried between my chest, wondering what the Teachers were up to.
For a moment, there was stillness. And then, Rabbi stooped to my level, and began to write on the sand with his finger. I was too afraid to gaze upon what he wrote so I remained in my bent position, trembling.
Teacher Mahlon’s voice rang out loud “Rabbi, we are asking for an answer. What do you say to this?”
“Yes,” someone else called out. “Rabbi do you say we stone her or let her go?”
“Rabbi,” another called. “You said you came to preserve the law and not to destroy it. So, what shall we do to this adulterous woman?”
One after the other, their voice rose up in condemnation and accusation, so much so that I couldn’t bear to hear them anymore, and so I blocked my ears with my hands. Then He spoke.
“Enough!” He said firmly, as he rose to his feet and glanced at them all. I put my hands down and waited in trepidation for what he had to say.
“You can stone her,” he continued. “But let he who has never sinned throw the first stone.” With that, he stooped low and resumed writing on the sand.
There was a deathly silence in the tabernacle. If a pin had dropped to the ground, the sound would have been heard. I shut my eyes tight, waiting for the first stone to fall on my back. For a few minutes, nothing happened, and then I heard feet shuffling. I was too afraid to open my eyes to see what was happening. The shuffle got louder, and I could hear some of them receding into the background until, once more, all was quiet around me.
Heart in my hands, I opened my eyes. Apart from Rabbi now standing before me, no one else was in the tabernacle. They had all left! Rabbi stretched forth His hand towards me but I hesitated. I was too sinful to touch the Rabbi. He did not withdraw his hand so with great fear, I put my hand in His. He took it and he lifted me up to my feet. My head was still buried in shame.
“Look at me,” he said with a tender voice.
I lifted up my head and looked upon his face. His eyes held so much warmth, so much compassion and love, unlike any that I had ever seen. I wanted just to be lost in them.
“Where are your accusers?” He asked softly. “Did no one condemn you?”
“No one Lord,” I responded, just as a tear slipped off my cheek.
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
I fell flat on my knees as I wrapped my hands around his legs. The tears flowed like a waterfall.
“Thank you, Lord. Thank you.”
It doesn’t matter how far you have gone in sin. It doesn’t matter how deep your trespasses are. It doesn’t matter how much iniquity lies in your palms. The unchanging truth remains that there’s no sin too difficult for Jesus to forgive. That was the whole essence of His coming into the world, to take up your sins so that you can be ushered into a life of holiness and righteousness.
No matter the voices of condemnation and accusations rising up against you today, Jesus is saying to you- ‘I do not condemn you. Come to me and receive rest for your weary soul.’ Even if you have tried before and failed, Jesus is still saying, ‘I am here to help you. Come unto me.’
Eternal life awaits those who surrender their all to Jesus and accept Him as their Lord. What are you waiting for? Why not join the winning team by saying this short prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I thank you for paying the ultimate price for my soul at the cross of Calvary. Today, I confess and renounce my sins and accept you as my Lord and the Saviour of my soul. Fill me with your Spirit, empower me with your grace and help me to live the life that brings glory to your name. In Jesus name, Amen!”
God bless you.
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