Suffering & Shame

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Today I want to bring a powerful section of scripture before you for consideration.  It is powerful not for the wonder that it instills, but rather for the shame and humiliation that it describes.  This section of scripture is found in John chapter nineteen verses twenty three and twenty four.

John 19:23–24 (NIV84)  When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.

Whenever I think about Jesus being beaten and then crucified for you and me, I always try to imagine the extreme physical suffering that Jesus endured.  I picture in my mind, the scourging post and blow after blow falling on Jesus’ body.  I imagine the blood loss and trauma that is poured out upon him.  Ultimately, Jesus arrives at the place of crucifixion and nails are used to pierce his wrists and feet and he is raised up for all to see.  It always moves me to imagine it.  However, there is a piece that I always leave out.

The above verses reminded me that there is another powerful aspect to what Jesus endured for you and me.  These verses remind me that Jesus is crucified naked.  Not only did Jesus endure physical suffering to redeem you and me, but he also endured tremendous shame as he hung naked before the world.  Not only did Jesus take upon himself the pain that was to be mine, he also took the shame.  Something about this causes me to have a deeper appreciation for Jesus.  It’s one thing to square your shoulders and walk boldly into someone else’s punishment, but it’s something entirely different to be shamed for that person.  That’s what Jesus did for us.  He took not only the pain but also the shame.

Can you imagine heaven’s reaction?  Although I have no scriptural basis for this, I imagine that the angels wanted to wipe us out.  Here is their King being openly shamed by his creation.  Surely they did not understand.  Do we?  Do you and I act like we really understand the price that was paid for our salvation?

Father, today we praise you for the price that was paid, that we might be saved!  Let us never take for granted the suffering and shame that Jesus bore for us.


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