No Shame

Lindsey Zarob, Content Manager, Weekends | March 18, 2024

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 
Matthew 27:27–31

Tears running down my face, I held my head low and wondered what was wrong with me. Of all the kids on the school bus, what made me stand out? I wasn’t one of the pretty girls, and I knew I didn’t dress as well as them. I knew I wasn’t as witty as the boys who mocked and made fun of me. But still, I didn’t do anything to stand out. I just was. And evidently, just existing was enough to elicit bullying and sexual harassment from the older boys. 

Middle school can be brutal—at least it was for me. For almost a year, I dreaded the end of the day, wondering what my ride home would be like. 

Adult me wishes I could hold the face of 12-year-old me in my hands and tell her she has a fiercely tender God who loves her very much and fully understands what she is going through. And while she may feel alone, she truly never is because God is always present. Twelve-year-old me did not know Jesus yet, and I have often wondered what those years of my life would have looked like if I had. 

As an adult, I experienced one of the most shame-filled seasons of my life in my late 20s. But this was different from my 12-year-old experience. I knew Jesus, and rather than being the victim like I was at 12, this time, my own decisions brought on the shame I felt. 

Today’s Scripture leaves out how Jesus was feeling in the midst of being beaten and mocked. Considering He was fully God and fully human, one can assume that in His humanity, He was feeling quite a few things. Perhaps deep despair, anguish, and shame. Did He want to run and hide? (That’s what shame often makes us want to do.) 

We can’t be certain how Jesus was feeling, but we can be certain of this: We have a High Priest who empathizes with us (Hebrews 4:15). 

No matter what we perceive to be the source of our shame—self-inflicted or not—there is healing to be found in the presence of God. Shame makes us want to hide. Jesus beckons us to Him as the Suffering Servant who says, there is no shame in My presence. 

Late-20s me may have made decisions that led to that shame-filled season. But it was the loving hands of Jesus, holding my face, that led me to His fierce and tender heart for me. It was there, in His presence, that shame could be broken.

Next Steps

Have you received the shame-squashing love of Jesus? If not, it’s never too late.

  • You can learn more about following Jesus and declaring that decision publicly through Baptism here.

If you’d like to receive prayer from our pastors, please fill out a request here. You can also submit prayer requests on the Willow app for the Willow community to pray for you.