“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2-3 NIV
Each of us has experienced some form of shame at one point or another in our lives.
It may have been an embarrassing playground fall, followed by the school-yard bully's taunting that takes us back to our first feelings of shame.
For some, it is much deeper. Wrongs committed against you or even your own past poor choices may trigger deep feelings of shame you just can't seem to shake.
As moms of children or wives of husbands struggling with addiction or some other life-controlling habit shame is a constant companion.
Some of us have worn the label of shame as though it was tattooed into our skin, an ever-present reminder of the accuser's voice, holding us to our past mistakes and failures.
Surely, this is all our fault. We blame ourselves for not being able to protect them or at least rescue them from themselves.
Jesus understands that shame. He endured it even though he was without fault. He remained silent in the face of his accusers. He was despised and rejected. He was abandoned by his friends. He was stripped, beaten, then crucified naked for all to see.
Yet, he endured it for one reason, the joy set before him.
He had his gaze fixed on something much greater than the present shaming situation he was in. He endured it because a far greater prize awaited him. Because of his deep love for us, he kept the end in mind.
Freedom from Shame
Jesus endured undeserved shame so we would no longer need to bear the burden of our own shame. He carried our shame because without him we would become exhausted and give up. Our shame would be too much for us to bear. We would lose hope.
Jesus demonstrated to us the ultimate shame so that he could then show us ultimate victory. And in that victory we are free.
Sin traps us. Shame imprisons us. Jesus frees us.
Victory Over Shame
Accepting his forgiveness and fixing our eyes on the one who has paid the price for our sins is the key to our victory over shame.
Our freedom from shame is found in these words.
"Fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith." verse 3
Our Shame-breaker has set us free. We are no longer locked in our past. We are no longer slaves to shameful labels.
He has given us faith for today and hope for the future. We can look ahead, no longer held by past regrets, because of the joy He set before us.
He has raised us up and seated us with him, high above shame's grip, where the enemy's accusations have no power.
In our Shame-breaker's lap we are finally and forever free from shame.
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:6 NIV