Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’
Consider: If surprise is the shortest emotion, shame is the one emotion that can linger for a long time. It is a ‘sticky’ emotion. \Shame is described as having the self-conscious feelings of distress, mistrust, powerlessness and worthlessness.
1. Guilt can be experienced alone, but ‘shame’ requires an audience, real or imagined. As the crucifixion drama unfolded Jesus was stripped of his clothes. Who was present that would have caused Jesus to have feelings of shame? (Imagine Jesus thinking, ‘you shouldn’t have to seem me like this?’)
2. Think of one time you experienced a moral lapse (or someone else’s moral lapse). What caused you ‘shame.’ Who is/was the audience? Why are/were you keeping your distance from them?
3. Who helped you find your way out of ‘shame?’ What does it take to dissolve shame?
4. Consider how Jesus interacted with all kinds of disreputable people. What does that tell us about Jesus and people like you and I who might be carrying bits and pieces of ‘shame?’