It is a stunning reality to see, He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Is. 53:3).
Yet, Jesus was able to despise the shame of being shamed.
Hebrews 12:1-2 puts it like this, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
One reason He could do this seems to be that even in the midst of praise, this was His reaction, “Jesus on His part did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for He Himself knew what was in man (Jn. 2:24-25).
This did not produce some type of impersonal sense that He couldn’t grieve or take a compliment. Look at Is. 53:3 again. He was acquainted with grief. Look at Mt. 17:5 and what the Father said to Jesus at the transfiguration. “This is my beloved son with who I am well pleased.”
A key to not being controlled by the pain or affirmation other people does not happen by detaching from it. The key is to focus on the joy set before us! This allows us to enter into the pain of a broken world, yet not be controlled by the ways of people that hurt us. Entrusting ourselves to the joy set before us also keeps us from being dependent on the affirmation of others, while being able to receive encouragement from others.
Jesus despised shame because it is something that will cripple and devastate a person. It is powerful. Not dealing with already incurred shame OR trying to control every situation where we would never be “put to shame” is a constant battle for all of us.
Jesus handled the attempt of man to shame Him by despising it. He didn’t receive it. He wouldn’t be defined by it. Instead, He died and conquered all shame by His resurrection. This is what He offers! He tells us that we do not have to receive the attempts of shame from others because “being shamed” is a disposition of the heart. People may still try to embarrass and humiliate you. They may try to hurt you (many of you are still carrying around the scars of incurred shame). It will hurt, yet it doesn’t have to ultimately define you.
Jesus did not act impersonally toward the shame of the cross. He also does not act impersonally toward the shame that others have caused you, are causing you, or that you are causing others. He hates it with a holy love.
Will you let The Despiser of Shame heal you?