When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center.John 8:9(HCSB)
The woman caught in adultery had certainly sinned and judgement needed to be meted out, but the Jewish leadership were using the undeniable guilt of this adulteress in an evil scheme to trap the Lord Jesus. This was an underhand plot to either accuse Jesus of disregarding sin by demonstrating His contempt for the God-given Law of Moses, or reveal that He was not living up to His claims of being a friend of sinners and their merciful Saviour. A lose-lose situation for Jesus, in their eyes.
"Should she be stoned or should she be set free?" was the question designed to entrap the Lord. If He were to condemn her, He would have upheld the Law of Moses, but He would have been discredited as the Messiah of Israel and Saviour of the world Who had come to seek and to save that which was lost. Were He to ignore her sin and recommend her release, Jesus would have proven Himself to be a lawbreaker, with contempt for the Torah and a disregard for the Law of God.
Jesus silently permitted the ranting allegation of the many accusational voices to continue spewing out their judgemental criticism on this woman, as they pointed accusingly at a sinner who most certainly deserved to have the punishment of God poured out upon her: For all have sinned, and all fall short of the perfect standard of a holy God. But God is the One Who searches the heart and as the clamour, confusion, and criticism increased, the very finger of God which inscribed the Law on tablets of stone so many years before, was once again used to begin writing words on the dusty ground.
We don't know what Christ wrote in the sand that day, but the consciences of every proud Pharisee and each scheming Scribe was cut to the quick when Jesus spoke with commanding authority: "Let him who is without sin among you, throw the first stone." And convicted and confused by their own conscience "they left, one by one, starting with the older men, leaving Jesus alone with the woman."
All sin is an affront against God, and all sin must be punished. And the only price that would satisfy a holy and righteous God was the shed blood of the sinless Son of God. His wrath was poured out in full measure upon the sinless, Lord Jesus as He hung on the Cross. And as the woman stood before Him, Jesus knew that He was soon to pay the price for the sin of this adulterous woman, just as surely as He died to pay the price for my sin and for yours.
As she stood alone waiting for His verdict on her heinous sin, she heard Him say, "Neither do I condemn you," and He charged her to "go and sin no more." As she heard His gracious pronouncement of forgiveness upon her that day, little did she realise that soon He would be despised, rejected of men, and led as a lamb to the slaughter in order to die on the Cross - to pay the price for her sin, for the sins of her accusers, and for the sin of the whole world: "For whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."
Heavenly Father, thank You for the heart of compassion that Jesus showed to all around Him, fully aware that He would pay the price for their sins. Let me never forget that He bled and died as payment for every sin I have committed. Help me to share His compassion for those in my life, as I walk in newness of spirit and live a godly life to Your honour and glory. For You are my God and my Saviour, and I love You Lord, AMEN.