Wednesday, October 28, 2020


You've probably heard it said that Jesus took away your shame, but what does that even mean? 

We say this when we talk about His death, but we still die, so that's not it. Every one of us will one day be seen only in a box by those we now look at face-to-face. Every one of us will one day be revealed as the same fragile flesh and bones that we've spent our entire lives pretending to transcend. No, it can't be that He's taken death, for we still, every one of us, face it. 

Perhaps it is that He's taken our sin. Our sin will not be exposed in the same way that the Old Covenant exposed it. We don't have to live tied to our sin like the Israel of old. We aren't constantly toting around offerings that proclaim to the world that we've done something wrong, always having to go to the priest and lay our lives bare before him and hope that he's in a forgiving mood to properly atone for our sins in front of God.

And yet, we still feel shame. We still feel that pang of exposure, even if we're the only person in the whole world who knows that we've done something wrong. We look in the mirror and see less than we pretend to be, and it breaks us. So if Jesus defeated our shame in our sin, it's certainly not in our perception of it because the truth is that most of us still spend our lives bound up in shame. 

But there is something profound that Jesus does with our shame, and it is something that cannot be undone, no matter how hard we try. It is not in His death, but in His resurrection. 

He leaves His grave clothes behind. 

It's not like Jesus was wearing anything under His grave clothes. It's not like He had a bunch of outfits in that makeshift tomb to choose from. He had one wardrobe - the cloth intended to wrap His fragile body as it lay there exposed to the elements - and He took that off and walked out of the tomb...naked. 

Remember that all the way back in Genesis, all the way back in the Garden, all the way back in the beginning when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and dove into the bushes to hide, the Lord did something beautiful and amazing for them - He sewed together fig leaves, the first clothes, to cover their shame. 

The first thing God did when brokenness entered the world was to create clothing to cover shame. The last thing He did in atoning for the world was to take that clothing off. 

So don't think for one minute that Jesus's sacrifice doesn't defeat your shame. That's exactly what it does.

Oh, sure, we may not feel like that. We may still wrestle with our own shame, with our own fear of being found out, with all the things that we know when we look at ourselves in the mirror, but God doesn't see those things about us. God's not wrestling with them. God has stripped off the coverings and entered again into nakedness, showing us what it means to be exposed and unashamed. Showing us that there's no longer anything to cover. The fig leaves? Gone.

Folded and left in an empty tomb. 

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