Shame On Him

My dad was an excellent photographer. He almost always had a camera with him and as soon as I saw it, I would look for a place to hide. In frustration, he would have to search for me to take family photos. He always found me though - and trying to avoid his camera was never worth his wrath. Even to this day I avoid having my picture taken because of my insecurities.

Adam and Eve disobeyed God by giving into temptation. Their Father went into the garden calling Adam by name. But they were hiding from Him. Think about that. Hiding from God! Of course, the Lord knew where they were. When He asked them about their sin, He was giving them opportunity to confess and repent. Adam admitted that they were hiding because they were ashamed. Sin brought shame. Shame gave them an awareness of their nakedness, so they attempted to cover themselves. But God graciously provided His own covering for them - not with fig leaves but with animal skins requiring a blood sacrifice – the giving of a life.

From that day on, we have followed Adam and Eve’s lead. We become ashamed and lie to hide our sin. We blame-shift exactly as they did. The last thing we want is to be found by God and confronted by Him so we deny His existence.

But just as in the garden that day, our Father seeks us out of His love for us! If we really understood that we would not hesitate to come before Him, leaving our pride behind.

Today we celebrate a day we call "Good Friday". Why is it "Good"? Because God provided not an animal to cover our sin as in the garden, but His beloved Son to remove our sin completely. It went beyond a man hanging on a cross over two thousand years ago. After all, many men were executed by crucifixion. What made this event different from all others was that Jesus Christ was the only One who was not facing His own punishment, but ours! He was willingly scourged, spit upon, mocked, humiliated and hung on our behalf. Jesus lived a perfect life as God in flesh and then died for the purpose of taking our sins - and the punishment thereof, upon Himself.

Read and understand the words of Isaiah the prophet written seven hundred years prior to that day:

"He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

This day, the good news observed on Good Friday is only “good” if we believe that God the Father gave His Son’s life out of His great love for us.

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