He Took Our Shame
Isaiah 50:7 For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced;
therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.
Isaiah 61:7a Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Hebrews 12:2 …looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We know well that Jesus has paid the debt for our sins. By His death on the cross, our sins are washed away. He took our judgment on Himself, and by His stripes we are healed.
Yet what about shame? What about that feeling of guilt and humiliation for what we did? What about the embarrassment that might have accompanied our sin? Perhaps we were made to feel shame by someone else that preferred to point to our guilt rather than to Christ and His provisions for us. And what about some of the sins of others that might have spilled shame onto us—such as family failure or scandal that we didn’t cause but may have cling to us in the form of shame?
Yes, He died to take that away, too. We can see in Isaiah 61 (above) that God wants to replace, not just take away. He wants to replace stealing hands with giving hands (Ephesians 4:28), and hard hearts with soft ones. When it comes to shame, His promises of restoration for His people include replacing shame with honor, even double honor.
Many of us struggle with shame because we don’t know that when He forgave our sin, He took away the shame that came with it. We may have had to stand in faith to believe He could have taken our sins, and has wiped away the guilt. But most of us have accepted that. Yet shame is in the realm of the soul—the mind and emotions. That may make it seem out of reach of His forgiveness, as we can feel shame long after we have agreed with God that He has forgiven the sin. This can be especially true if the shame originated from someone else’s sin.
Yet shame is one of our “griefs” and “sorrows” that He has both “borne” and “carried [away]”. It is part of the reach of the atonement. When sin has caused shame, we need to see that when sin is forgiven, shame has been borne by Him and carried away with the guilt. We may need to stand in that truth a while to feel it, but it is our portion as forgiven children.
If we suffer from shame because of someone else’s sin, we may have to take one more step and forgive them if we haven’t yet. As we do, our own forgiveness dissolves the shame. In either case, Jesus died to take it away. Let’s make sure that in all situations, His death is not going to be in vain for us in any aspect!
Prayer: Father, I hand You all the shame I feel, for my own sins and because of the sins of others. I release the shame of my sin to You, because You already paid for it. And for those who sinned and left me with shame, I forgive them, both for the sin and for the shame that came with it.