I’ve done many things in my 66 years that I’m ashamed of. When something drives one of those things home to me, even today, I want to cover my face with 18 no shamemy hands, and shiver with my shame. I understand what it means to cover myself with fig leaves, don’t you? I suppose everyone has some things that they are ashamed of. Shame is disgrace, embarrassment, dishonor, humiliation, indignity, and ignominy. I don’t want to stir your memory with painful moments, but I’m sure you remember something that brought those sensations to you. I can’t imagine the horror I’d feel if some of things of my past were recorded and broadcast over the screens at church. Disgrace, embarrassment and humiliation would not be sufficient to describe my feelings.

I suppose most of you have those memories. Some in this world have much worse than you and I do! Can you imagine carrying the collective shame of all humanity? I can’t! Max Lucado writes, “One wave of shame after another was dumped on Jesus. Though he never cheated, he was convicted as a cheat. Though he never stole, heaven regarded him as a thief. Though he never lied, he was considered a liar. Though he never lusted, he bore the shame of an adulterer. Though he always believed, he endured the disgrace of an infidel.” How did Jesus bear the shame of the world? The burden is unimaginable!

Max goes on, “What gave Jesus the strength to endure the shame of all the world? We need an answer, don’t we? Like Jesus we are tempted. Like Jesus we are accused. Like Jesus we are ashamed. But unlike Jesus, we give up. We give out. We sit down. How can we keep running as Jesus did? How can our hearts have the endurance Jesus had?” I found the answers to all of Max questions in Hebrews 12:2-3. It says that because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up. There’s joy awaiting us also. In Zephaniah 3:11, we read, “On that day you will no longer need to be ashamed, for you will no longer be rebels against me.”