God's miracle of helping their ancestors cross the Red Sea made a lasting impression on the people of Israel. It was annually reinforced by the celebration of Passover. They recalled it even during their exile in Babylon. Isaiah teaches them that now they will have an even greater event to recall--something new. God will deliver them from their new bondage and restore them to their former nation.
The Church sees something more. God reveals to his people a totally new experience--the passionate love demonstrated in the Crucifixion and Resurrection. We marvel at the fact that the Creator of the entire universe personally comes to rescue those who are but specks of dust compared to God!
JESUS WROTE ON THE GROUND
The law of the Old Testament decreed that adultery was a crime punishable by death. It applied only to the woman involved. Her husband had the right to denounce her and plea for her execution. Normally this was done by stoning: rocks thrown at the victim until she was battered to death. The aggrieved husband had the right and duty of throwing the first rock.
A crowd of religious leaders bring a prostitute to Jesus. They are trying to trap him. He must either approve of the death sentence or continue his avowed policy of mercy.
Faced with this dilemma, Jesus simply crouches down and scribbles on the ground. When the leaders persist, Jesus begins writing on the ground. There is a change of verbs in Greek, which implies that Jesus is printing law in the second instance. We can have little doubt that the accusers see themselves described. Finally, our Lord arises and suggests that the innocent party begin the execution. There is none except Christ, and he will not.
© 2000 by Father Richard Lonsdale. You may freely copy this document. It may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.
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