Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:10-11
Their hours of isolation are spent in self-condemnation. None of them understand how God can love them, and at least one of the women does not believe God has completely forgiven her. She waits to be diagnosed with cancer or punished in some way for her past sin. One has tried to end her own life and the other two are on psychotropic medications for depression and anxiety.
Each woman spends time doing penance of various kinds. One promotes marriage weekends, another volunteers at the crisis pregnancy center, and the last one works in youth group hoping to steer young woman away from the path of promiscuity. They wrongly think that some sort of restitution is needed and required by God for forgiveness, and they say they hope it will help them forgive themselves.
Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless Deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. Hebrews 10:11-18
If we must add to His sacrifice or do some additional penance, then Jesus’ sacrifice was incomplete, our redemption is not assured and God is a liar. The guilty feelings that you hang on to that you somehow believe will help atone for your sin are actually actually adding the sin of unbelief to your heart and life!
The women I wrote about today have read the account of the adulterous woman in John 8, are familiar with the prostitute, and the woman who wept at the feet of Jesus. They understand that none of these women in the Bible asked Jesus how to forgive herself, each one sought His forgiveness. When they received it, they obeyed His command to sin no more in this manner. They became His followers and lived their lives for Him. The women who wrote me just don’t think that what the Bible says about forgiveness applies to themselves, complete forgiveness by faith is only for other people who have not done the things they have done.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 (NASB)
Like these dear women, perhaps you need to realize that your help, hope and healing are complete in Christ.