Have you ever felt ashamed of something you’ve done?
When Jesus died on the cross it was very shameful. Do you know what shame is? Shame is when you feel really bad about something that you’ve done. Shame even makes you feel like you’re not worthy of being loved. And that’s exactly what a cross was supposed to make someone feel.
The cross was a terrible way to die. It was very slow and very painful. But it was also very shameful. Only people that were considered the worst of the worst were put on crosses. If you were on a cross, then you must be a terrible criminal. Maybe a thief, or a murderer, or a traitor. Crucified people were literally erased from history. Their names were removed from family records as if they never existed.
This is why it was so hard for people to trust in Jesus. If Jesus was a king, or even God, he wouldn’t be crucified would he? Only shameful people were crucified. Only bad people died on crosses.
And if being a Christian means believing in a crucified person, then that means we must be shameful too. To be like Jesus must mean that we are criminals like he was.
But Jesus rose from the dead!
Jesus defeated the shame of the cross. He conquered death. He destroyed sin and guilt. How? Because he was perfect and his powerful life could conquer the cross.
What does that mean for us? It means we don’t ever have to be ashamed again. Here’s how the Apostle Paul says it at the beginning of his letter to the Romans:
Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The truth is when we think about the cross there could be shame for us. The cross proves that we were so bad that Jesus HAD to die for us.
But because of the resurrection of Jesus we can look at the cross and “not be ashamed of the gospel.” Why? Because Jesus DID die for us. He loves us so much that he would never leave us in our shame, but instead he resurrected us to share his glory and his goodness.
And that’s the GOOD NEWS! That’s the gospel. And the gospel will never leave us feeling bad about ourselves. It will always take us past shame to God’s great love for us no matter what.
Because of Jesus all our shame has been turned into glory and grace.
With Jesus whenever we feel ashamed we can turn to Jesus and his love.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s a good song of Romans 1:16 to sing together.
You have taken all my guilt and shame away forever. Help me to never be ashamed of you.
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