Saturday 24th February, 2018-STRUGGLING WITH SHAME

Crooked politician hiding face from newspaper photographers after political scandal, public embarrassment, hand gesturing stop sign

“Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.” John 20: 19b-20

Shame. We’re all familiar with it. Perhaps you haven’t quite lived up to expectations and your colleagues, boss or even parents like to point out how you’ve missed the mark. Maybe feelings of shame and regret from poor life choices tag along like an unwelcomed shadow.  For those struggling under shame’s weight, don’t miss this: Jesus did not come to shame you, but to die for your shame. That’s the message of the Gospel.

When Jesus died on the cross, His followers were devastated. Not only did they question everything they had ever believed about Him, but they feared they might be next. So they hid in hopes of saving their own skin. Then, on the third day after His death, He appeared – alive and in the flesh. Can you imagine everything the disciples must have felt? Confusion, fear, excitement – certainly some shame in going into hiding for fear of being identified with Him. And for having lost faith in Him.

Showing the disciples His pierced hands and side, Jesus communicated the impact of the cross. The purpose of the cross was to take on ALL mankind’s sin and shame and guilt – including their own. Only through the cross can we experience the most incredible gift of forgiveness and love the world will ever know. If you’re still struggling with guilt and shame in your life, surrender it to Jesus. Jesus already took care of it on the cross. It’s time to exchange that shame for forgiveness and peace once and for all. That is the incredible beauty of the Gospel!