Dust Two Dust

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The foundation of the synagogue where Jesus lived in Capernaum

The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more. – John 8

Ever wonder what Jesus wrote in the dust (twice)? Perhaps it was Gomer.

In Hosea, the prophet is told to marry an adulteress named Gomer to illustrate the infidelity of Israel to God, her spiritual husband. A Gomer stood before Jesus now, as guilty of violating God’s Law as Israel was in Hosea’s marriage imagery. Ironically, all of her accusers were Gomers too! They were an entire nation of Gomers. So maybe writing Gomer was a reminder for whom He came to ransom, just like this sinful woman he forgave.

Perhaps He wrote Jeremiah 17:13 next. It was read during Yom Kippur (“ransom of a life” in Hebrew), the holiest day of the year. The Hebrew translation says:

“Oh YHWH, the Immerser (baptizer) of Israel, all those who leave your way shall be put to shame (embarrassed publicly), those who turn aside from my ways will have their names written in the dust and blotted out, for they have departed from YHWH, the fountain of Mayim Hayim (the waters of life).”

During Yom Kippur, the High Priest bathed in the Mikveh bath symbolizing the One who would come as “the” Mikveh bath for Israel to wash away her sins permanently. Then, once a year, he entered the Holy of Holies and sprinkled the blood of the sacrificed goat on the Ark of the Covenant’s Mercy Seat. Finally, he placed his hands on another goat, a scapegoat, transferring Israel’s sins from him onto it before banishment to die in the wilderness (Leviticus 16). Every year it reminded Gomer that she needed to be ransomed, but it’s no longer necessary now (Hebrews 10). Why?

Because in Hebrew Gomer means, “finished,” as the final High Priest said on the cross, “It is finished (John 19:30).” He died as the final ransom “that takes away the sins of the world.” Sinful Gomer cost Him everything, but don’t judge prostitute Israel too harshly like the woman’s accusers. There are two Gomers in the dust…all the rest of us.

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The inside of the tomb in Jerusalem

The tenth chapter of the Book of Hebrews explains it very succinctly:

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.  Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?  But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.  For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,
“SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED,
BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME;

IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE.

“THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME
(IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME)
TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIREDNOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.”  He takes away the first in order to establish the second.  By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

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 DAYSSAYS THE LORD:
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
WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

The point is this…you need to give up trying to be good.  You’re not.  You’re a Gomer if you think you’re good enough.  As James said in James 2:10, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”  It’s a total surrender, unless you are perfect.  So give up.  You can never be good enough.  Otherwise, Jesus’ death was needless (Galatians 2:21).

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