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2021 (Page 18)

This week I went to the viewing of a racquetball friend who died with COVID-19. His family and friends gathered at a funeral home to remember him. Some of us racquetball guys arranged to attend the viewing together. Death is never pleasant. We hate death. A few did gather in grief while Jesus was dying on the cross – his mother Mary, the apostle John, other women. Most, however, mocked Jesus – the soldiers, those who passed by, the rebels crucified

We experience both honor and shame in public, and nothing was secret or hidden about a crucifixion. Not only was death by crucifixion cruelly painful. It was the ultimate shame. When Jesus stood before Pilate, the crowd cried out, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (John 19:6). Jesus was rejected and condemned in public (Matthew 27:24). He was further dishonored as the crowd choose the release of Barabbas – a robber, murderer, and insurrectionist – over Jesus (Luke 23:19; John 18:40). These people weren’t just

In the events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion, remember again the shame he suffered for us. Jesus endured the shame of betrayal. Imagine the laughter among the soldiers as his own three-year-long disciple, Judas Iscariot, kissed him (Matthew 26:48). Along with this came the vulnerability and disrespect of being arrested like a common criminal. It’s a shame to be held and pushed around. Even in our day, being arrested and put into handcuffs is shaming. When arrested, most people shy away from

Throughout his life Jesus lived above shame, an example for us to follow. When crucified, he willingly submitted to his death, while scorning its shame (Hebrews 12:2). The Psalms prophesied it: “To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads” (Psalm 22:5-7). Paul reflected upon

The New Testament story of the woman suffering from a bleeding gives us a vivid picture of Jesus’ healing power and how he overturns shame. Recall the story of how she reached out to Jesus. “When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed’” (Mark 5:27-28). This woman suffered a chronic, continuous bleeding physically. Alongside the suffering in her body was