Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. Leviticus 20:2
“ ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ “ Leviticus 20:27
Say to the Israelites: ‘If anyone curses his God, he will be held responsible; anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death. Leviticus 24:15-16
In Numbers 15, a Sabbath breaker were ordered to be stoned to death. In Leviticus 20, those involved in adultery were ordered to be killed, probably by stoning (as seen when Jesus defended the woman).
However, stoning is called murder in another place in the Bible.
Or if anyone has a stone in his hand that could kill, and he strikes someone so that he dies, he is a murderer; the murderer shall be put to death. Leviticus 35:17
The difference between these two types of stonings was the heart’s intent. Is the “stoner” (sorry) fulfilling God’s law or taking out a personal vendetta?
Stoning is never commanded or suggested by Jesus. In fact, in John 8, Jesus stopped the stoning of an adulteress and focused on the heart of the people who wanted to stone her. They were killing for their sake instead of God’s.
The act of stoning began to purify the tribes of Israel in its infancy stage, keeping out the pagan religions and showing that God meant business when it came to sin. It was meant to stop sin from infecting the newly established country. He chose tough measures to keep Israel free from sin.
Now that God's focus has turned to the world and away specifically from Israel, the practice has stopped.
It's no longer about sin being a crime against the community, but the relationship between man and God. God is not trying to purify a country, but a people.
Today if we were to stone people for sinfulness, there wouldn’t be enough stones on the earth and we would have to hurl them at ourselves.
The practice of stoning has ended, but we should still remember what it was meant to teach--treat sin as serious business and deal with it before it infects yourself and your community.