There is a holy or gracious shame that accompanies real sin. It is possible to feel shame for what someone else did or for something that seems embarrassing, but that is not what I’m talking about. Holy shame is like the pain of touching a hot stove – it tells you that something is wrong. When Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were naked and became ashamed. This was a good thing because it was telling them they were not right with God. Holy shame ought to drive us to God to deal with our sin and cover our shame. But if God doesn’t deal with our sin and cover our shame, we will be like Adam and Eve trying to get fig leaves to do something they were never intended for.
This is why Satan and the enemies of God seek to weaponize shame, trying to use shame to keep us quiet, to keep our heads down. Satan is the accuser, and so he accuses the brothers night and day with real sin and with lies. But for those who are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. On the Cross, Jesus took all our guilt, and this necessarily means that He also took all our shame. He took our lust and envy and bitterness and hatred and complaining spirits, and so He also necessarily took the shame we feel for them. Christ was put to shame in our place, so that we would never be put to shame in Him. He was stripped naked and crucified before jeering crowds, so that we might be covered in His royal robes of perfect obedience. And in so doing, Jesus has put Satan and every accuser to open shame, because their accusations are powerless when every actual sin has been answered by the blood of Christ. This is our glory.
And since this is our glory, do not be ashamed of any of it. Wave the cross. Boast in the cross. Celebrate this story. Share this story. Sing this story. Despise the shame. Christ our God has come for us. He was born in a stable, lived, died, and rose and has taken away all our shame and clothed us in a glory that can never be taken away.
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