Shame is a painful emotion that most, if not all, people deal with in their life. Shame is the feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore, unworthy of love and belonging. It is caused by what we have done, what we failed to do, what someone else did to us, or in some case, simply by association with someone who has done something. Shame can begin in our lives at a very young age or rear its ugly head later in life. We see shame rear its ugly head across all of humanity – regardless of belief or background.
Shame has a devastating impact on so many people. It can lead us to experience an empty life where we question our significance, experience intense emotional pain, medicate to cover up the pain, and cause us to withdraw from those around us. Shame is not always visible though – we as humans have gotten very skilled at hiding shame behind a façade of success.
Shame began in Genesis 3 when Adam and Eve realized their nakedness and hid from God and continues throughout the pages of scripture. We see shame in the story of David and Bathsheba, the bleeding woman, the woman at the well, and when Peter denied Christ three times ...and then wept bitterly.
Shame is pervasive, damaging, and it impacts almost everyone at one time or another.
Praise God – that shame does not belong in the Kingdom of God and He sent His one and only Son to die for our sins AND to die for our shame. The author of Hebrews writes:
…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame of the cross, thereby enduring the cross to put sin and the impact of sin, namely shame, to death for us!
Jesus endured the underserving nature of the crucifixion – He who knew no sin took on ALL sin.
Jesus endured the pain of the crucifixion – He was beaten to an unrecognizable pulp, had a crown of thorns shoved on His head, was nailed to the cross, and died a slow, agonizing death.
Jesus endured the shame of the crucifixion – He was spit on, ridiculed, and hung naked on the cross in front of all.
He endured the cross so that you and I could have a life, here and now, free from sin and shame ... a life where we can experience the fullness of God while we are being formed in His image.
No matter what you have done, what you have failed to do, what has been done to you, what you have been associated with know that Jesus took your shame upon Himself and has set you free! Because of Jesus, you never have to be tormented with the thought of not being loveable, not belonging, being less than – because of Jesus!