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jesus and shame

March 24, 2018

 

“[we are] always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:10

 

Our bodies store shame. Our bodies can release shame. Jesus can facilitate that process. Yet what does it mean for Jesus to actually bear our shame in his body?

 

The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus endured not only the physical pain of the Cross, but also the heaped-on shame of the entire crucifixion experience (12:2). He was humiliated and talked down to. His trusted disciples abandoned him. He was “despised and rejected” by the people he had loved (Isaiah 53:3).

 

People around him sent a clear message: “You are a fraud! Something is wrong with you! No one wants to be around you. You deserve to feel this pain.” They piled on shame with every whip, spit, and careless word.

 

The accusations thrust on Jesus are at their core a matter of identity. Beloved Son of God, in your weak and tattered condition? Yeah, right. “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” (Luke 23:37)

 

It was the ultimate deception, really. The scarlet robe. The sharp and twisted crown. The soldiers even going so far as to kneel before him in contempt. The one who has all the power in the world, who has more authority than any royalty, treated as a benign joke in locker-room banter, kicked around by macho men for a cheap laugh.  

 

The more true something is, the greater its distortion.

 

The spectacle of heaped-on shame became so jarring, in fact, that people could not even look at Jesus. They hid their faces. What were they feeling? What would it take for you to hide your face from someone

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