(Note: Please see Easter 2011 Letter #1
for introduction to this series of posts.)
for introduction to this series of posts.)
EVA, WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY
The tomb IS empty! It IS true! As I was hanging out my laundry this morning, Maria from across the street came to tell me the good news that Jesus had come back to life. A number of people had seen and talked to him. I was so excited when I heard it. I just knew something miraculous like that would happen to him. But I really wanted to see for myself - to make sure this was not just someone's hallucination. What Jesus did for me, was so remarkable that words hardly begin to express my gratitude. You see, I am Eva, the woman caught in the act of adultery and brought before Jesus. I have always wanted an opportunity to thank him for what he did for me that day so I've written him a letter.
Dear Jesus, my rescuer,
This letter in many ways is not going to be easy for me to write. I am now a changed person but I am a woman with a shameful past. I cannot defend my former behavior but I do want to explain some things and let you know what a tremendous difference you have made in my life.
As I grew into womanhood, I became aware of my attractiveness to men. I was so flattered by their attention. Their words made me feel so loved and confident. I enjoyed their fascination with me - I loved the elation I felt in their presence. But one day everything changed. Someone I had come to trust took advantage of me and violated my body. It was so painful, so shameful, so degrading. I felt I had somehow caused this to happen. I thought I became a worthless woman - of no value to anyone other than to be further abused and violated. I could no longer be part of society. I could only remain locked in secret behind closed doors. My only contact was with men who would momentarily desire my presence in order to satiate their unrestrained passion. Those encounters provided me with a bit of human contact and attention but always left me saddened and lonely. I felt completely isolated and hopeless. Then one morning, in the midst of one of my encounters, a group of men stormed into my residence, grabbed my arm and dragged me into the street. The man with me fled through the back window and escaped. I only barely caught the corner of my robe as I was pulled out. I managed to get it around my shoulders as we proceeded through the street to the temple court. I could only imagine what fate I was facing. I knew the law called for my death by stoning. At that time, I almost began to feel relief. My life was so miserable, I wasn't sure it was worth living anyway. These men brought me to you. I had no idea who you were. No one had ever told me about you. I could only think that you must be a judge, called to decide my fate. There was so much confusion, so much noise, so many shouts and cries. I could only stand with my head bowed in utter shame and fear. As I stood there, however, I began to realize that you were not answering the questions hurled at you. You had bent down and were writing something on the ground with your finger. They kept demanding an answer of you as to what should be done with me and as you stood up, I heard you say, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." You kept on writing after that and even though I didn't dare look around, I realized the crowd was becoming quiet and seemed to be dispersing. I could hardly believe it. Your words had been that a person without sin should cast the first stone - you hadn't said, "a person without this sin". Is it possible that this sin is no worse than any other sin? Within my heart I began to feel a ray of hope - a flicker of expectation. When you straightened up the second time, you spoke to me. By then there was no one else present other than the two of us. You asked, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" I answered, "No one, sir." And then I heard the most wonderful words I had ever heard in my life - words I still have a hard time comprehending but which gave me the strength to believe that a different life for me was possible. You said, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin." At that moment my life changed. I knew I was a sinner who needed to repent but you gave me hope - a reason to live and the confidence that I was worthy of your care. I knew immediately that your concern for me was different from any other man I had known. I left your presence that day with the determination to leave my life of sin and follow you.
I was so saddened when I heard of your death on Friday. I knew evil men had carried out their wicked plan but today is another day for me to rejoice. You willingly chose to die. Thank you for being the worthy sacrificial lamb. I give you my allegiance and will always be,
Your faithful friend and follower,
I, too, have a letter I've written to Jesus.
I can relate to Eva. I, too, have suffered the humiliation, shame and agony of a man's violation of my body. I have felt so isolated and lonely. I wish I could be perfect but I am not. That's why Easter is so important to me today. I can only come to the foot of your cross with brokenness and anguish. Thank you for forgiving me and washing clean my being with your blood. Your love for me took you to the cross. I can never again be the same. You are the worthy lamb who was sacrificed for my sin. I give you my allegiance and want to always be, your faithful friend and follower.