Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Enduring the Shame

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-7
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding the shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:2 NLT)
The bystanders gaped at Jesus (his face marred beyond recognition, his back lacerated from whips, and the crown of thorns piercing his brow) his face the shame of sin. Not his, but yours and mine. The shame of the cross was a humiliating experience, especially for the sinless Son of God. His mother, before him, looking on his nakedness made it even worse. They hung him between two thieves, and a murderer was set free on his account. What a shameful experience!
     Can you remember a shameful moment in your past life? A time when you were accused of abandonment, or stealing, or betraying a friend, or _____________________. Write in your own experience. Imagine the horror you would feel if everyone knew about it! What if a videotape of the event was played before family and friends? Wouldn’t the humiliation be unbearable? It is especially difficult when the accused party is not guilty as charged.
     How do you suppose Jesus felt as he bore the awful shame of all humanity? The Bible states, “Who did no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22 NASB). The Apostle Paul says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB). The innocent one dying for the guilty.
     How was Jesus able to disregard such shame and disgrace? The answer to this question may be the source God wants to use to help you and me assuage our fears. The only way we can endure our shame is to focus where Jesus focused: “because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus fixed his gaze on the prize set before him. You and I are the prizes that Jesus died for. He purchased our redemption; therefore, all who believe in him are legally his.
     I love the words to that old hymn: Now I belong to Jesus
            Jesus my Lord will love me forever, from him no pow’r of evil can sever,
            He gave his life to ransom my soul, Now I belong to Him;
     Do you belong to Jesus?

Prayer: Dear Lord, you are the one who endured the shame so that I might have eternal life through your person and work on Calvary.

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