Day 13 – Honor Over Shame
During his dishonorable and shameful arrest and crucifixion, Jesus retained a sense of dignity.
When the soldiers approached Jesus in the Garden to arrest him, knowing all that was going to happen to him, Jesus stepped forward.
“When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, ‘Who is it you want?’ ‘Jesus of Nazareth,’ they said. Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go’” (John 18:6-8).
What he had anticipated and prophesied was now unfolding and he stepped into it. Jesus knew this hour had come (John 17:1). He appeared calm, as the one in charge.
When Peter reacted and sliced off a man’s ear, “Jesus answered, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched the man’s ear and healed him” (Luke 22:51). Jesus wasn’t letting an impulsive overreaction interfere with God’s plan.
Jesus even acknowledged twice that his arrest took place to fulfill Scripture (Matthew 26:54, 56). Jesus allowed himself to be arrested and crucified. He did so willingly (John 10:18).
Before Pilate, Jesus maintained his dignity (John 18:33-38). While on the cross, Jesus passed on his responsibility as the oldest son to care for his mother, a most important duty in a shame-oriented culture (John 19:27). So while Jesus himself was being shamed publicly, he was making honorable arrangements with John, shielding his mother from shame and preserving her honor.
His final words “It is finished!” were words of triumph, not defeat (John 19:30). His task was completed. He did so with honor.
At each stage of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution, he was ritually, intentionally, sadistically shamed. With each succeeding humiliating incident, he absorbed the shame and turned it around.
The symbol of the cross can be seen in almost every church today. This symbol of a cruel and painful execution has uniquely become an honorable symbol for all Christians everywhere – the picture of salvation and victory.
Jesus shamed shame for humanity and turned the shame of the cross into a place of honor.
As those who were unworthy sinners, by Christ’s justification, we are made worthy before God. As believers in Jesus, we share in his honor. As sons and daughters of God, we stand together honorably in Christ.
Today: Meditate on the honor of the cross.
~ Pastor Dave