Where does shame come from?
Adam and Eve hid from God in the Garden, because they were ashamed of their sin (Genesis 3). Cain was ashamed when his inferior offering was not received by God as well as his brother Abel’s (Genesis 4).
Did God shame them?
Well, He punished Adam and Eve, though even as He banished them from Eden He had a plan (Jesus) for bringing them back to Him. God reasoned with Abel,
“Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:6-7)
So where does shame come from?
There is one who accuses us, who holds our sin before us as evidence of our unworthiness. This one would hold our sin up high and parade it around for all the world to see! By him we are shamed. By him we would be condemned, if he had any power to condemn.
But he doesn’t.
Only God has the power to condemn. Yet God offers love…and mercy!
Think of the woman caught in adultery who was brought out into the temple courts and surrounded by an angry crowd shaming her, ready to stone her. What did our Lord, the only one with the authority to condemn her, do? He cleared the crowd (the shame) away,
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)
Then He forgave her,
“neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin”. (John 8:11)
Jesus had the authority to forgive the woman, because he bore her sin. He carried her sin and its shame all the way to The Cross. It was nailed with Him there. Jesus bore her sin and shame so that she didn’t have to.
He was paraded around and lifted up high for all the world to see, for her…and for you and me.
Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn, but to save! He didn’t come to shame us but to give us peace. Truly Jesus is worthy of our worship and praise, and our adoration!
Forgiveness and salvation are in Jesus Christ! This blessed truth sets us free to be loved by Him, and to love Him. It sets us free to love others with His love, and to forgive them by His authority.
When we forgive people, we take away their shame.