Day 1 – Jesus & Shame
I want to talk with you about the shame Jesus experienced in his life and in his death.
Today is the beginning of the Lenten season. Different Christians respond differently to this season. Some conscientiously follow it. Others mostly ignore it.
I’m probably in the middle. Sometimes in the 40 days leading up to Easter I’ve seriously focused my heart and mind daily on the passion of Jesus. Other times I’ve taken a lighter touch recollecting only periodically on the suffering and raising of Christ.
In our pursuit of knowing Christ in his death and resurrection, this season of the church year can be a special time of faith and prayer and self-denial. Reflecting on Jesus and shame can be especially beneficial.
My goal is to write three devotionals every week on this topic, which you’ll receive by email. They’re also posted on the church website. If you know of someone who could benefit by them, you can sign them up, with their permission of course. I trust these emails will be a source of encouragement and strengthening for you in your spiritual journey.
Recall an occasion when you were shamed. Perhaps you did something wrong or foolish, or something hurtful was done to you, and you felt humiliated and distressed. More so, your personal dignity was exposed as inferior, inadequate, unacceptable, defective, or unworthy. You felt uniquely and hopelessly different and less than others.
Dr. Brené Brown, vulnerability and shame researcher, states that “shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.”
When we feel shamed, we try to cover over and hide from being exposed. We can become avoidant, defensive, even angry. Some shame is healthy – a result of sin that leads us to repentance, for example. Most shame, however, is unhealthy, harmful, even toxic.
In many ways Jesus Christ was shamed by others in his life and in his death. Yet Jesus maintained a shame resilience, as Hebrews 12:2 says, “he endured the cross, scorning its shame.”
As various translations describe it, Jesus scorned, despised, disregarded, endured, exposed, put up with the shame of dying on the cross. Though heaped upon him, in his life and in his death, Jesus never internalized shame. I’ll talk more about this later.
Action Step: Tell Jesus about the occasion you were shamed. He understands.
This is God’s Word for you today,