READ: 2 Chronicles 4-6, Psalm 127, Mark 10, Hebrews 12
Looking to Jesus helps us to be ashamed of shame. When our eyes are fixed on ourselves, we notice our nakedness, we blush, and we construct awkward fig leaf clothing. When we are oblivious to ourselves, it is hard to be ashamed. Shame is directly connected to self-consciousness. We were designed to live God-conscious lives for there is no shame in Him. It is not so much that God wants us to stop thinking highly or lowly of ourselves, but it is that God wants us to not think of ourselves at all and to fix our eyes and attention on Him.
A baby can saunter naked into a room shamelessly, for not only does that child not notice (or know) she is naked, she also does not know that you know she is naked. There is no shame for there is no self-consciousness. We despise shame by being radically God-conscious. “Since my eyes were fixed on Jesus, I ‘ve lost sight of all beside. So enchained my spirit’s vision, looking at the Crucified.” Eyes fixed on Jesus lead to shameless hearts.
Jesus endured the cross, endured hostility from sinners, and even endured the chastening of God–all of which brought high measures of earthly shame–for the joy set before Him, for what He could see (Heb. 12). Sure, part of that joy was the redemption of man, but textually Jesus’ joy is connected to sitting down at the right hand of the Father. God is the joy of God. An eternal God was not incomplete before the creation and redemption of man. God delights in God, and the joy set before Jesus (which empowered Him to endure horrific shame) was the joy of union with the Father. If Jesus’ antidote to shame was the delight of intimacy with the Father, then ours must be the same.
To despise shame does not mean we will escape shame. As we draw closer and closer to the return of Jesus, we will increasingly be the plight and bane of the world. We will face more shame, not less. It will become less and less respectable to be a devoted follower of Jesus. Our future has more scorn, more abuse, more disdain, more shame, not less. We despise shame–not by avoiding it–but ignoring it as we fix our eyes on Jesus. Looking to Jesus clothes us. We are covered by our eyes, not our hands or our clothes. When our eyes are fixed on Jesus, He clothes us with His righteousness, He covers all our shame.
When we have sinned and shamed ourselves and our loved ones, there is only one recourse. It is not to look at ourselves, it is not to look at those who look at us in our misery–it is to fix our eyes on Jesus, to walk towards Him, to let His eyes cover us.