Something the Lord taught me today…
You know when you feel bad about something and want to repent and get it off your shoulders, but you feel like the shame is too much and that repenting isn’t enough? That happened to me today. My temper had got the better of me and I had made a hurtful comment. But then a thought about the nature of repentance flashed across my mind, and I found myself praying, “Lord, put my shame for that on Jesus”. Immediately, I was utterly disgusted that I had even dreamt of praying that. I envisaged Jesus carrying his cross, stumbling along in agony, covered in blood from tip to toe. How could I dare to pray such a thing against my Lord and Saviour who died for me, when I had no right to walk away Scot-free for saying such a horrid thing? I should be the one feeling ashamed here, not the sinless Saviour who died for me!
Then I realised. That’s precisely what Jesus came to do. The scars, the blood, the agony, Jesus went through it all so that I wouldn’t have to be held responsible for that horrid comment I made today. In fact, you could say that it was because of that horrible comment that he had to go through it. Let’s forget ‘churchy’ language and niceties here. “Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow” is all very well. But what it means is that I can pray “Lord, put the blame for that horrible comment I made today on your blameless son Jesus whom I killed” and walk away knowing that I’ve been made innocent. It’s scandalous. It makes my stomach churn just thinking about it.
And it’s made me never want to sin ever, ever again.
I know that I will sin, and that Christ’s blood will cover it. But just as the scandalous nature of God’s love prompted me to cry out, “No! I don’t want Jesus to take my shame!” before remembering that the reality of Jesus’ suffering is God’s overwhelming love for a guilty humanity that doesn’t deserve to have its sentence waived, in the same way I hope that it will make sin seem ever-repugnant in times of temptation.