September 06, 2012
Speaker: Kevin DeYoung—"Bearing Shame and Scoffing Rude"
Dr. Scott Gibson Introduction: Preaching, what we do as communicators of the Gospel. A grand welcome. This conference is to equip to proclaim to Word of God.
President Dennis Hollinger Introduction: "There is nothing like hearing the word of God read and proclaimed." Read 2nd Corinthians 4, we have this ministry and do not lose heart...for what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.
Always a privilege to preach God's word, especially so back here at his former seminary. A great privilege. Reminisced on his time here at GCTS, especially the surreal experience of having lunch with his former professors. Told a jr. high story of misunderstanding the coach and was humiliated in front of his peers. We all have embarassing stories, we all have the same experience of shame. No matter how bad our story of shame is, it is not worse than the one he is about to read, it is not so bad that we cannot be helped by this story about Jesus:
Mark 15:16-32 (crown of thorns, purple cloak, saluted as king of Jews, then crucified Him, inscribed King of Jews above him, crucified between two robbers, reviled). The writer had very little interested in the physical aspect of the crucifixion, they simply crucified him (no description, matter of fact). Mark does not focus on the pain of the cross. Mark does not want us interested in the pain of the cross, instead he draws our attention to the shame of the cross. He wants us to see how Jesus is reviled and despised!
The soldiers mock Jesus by equipping him with garb worthy of a king, a robe, a crown and a title, King of the Jews. They mock him, they spit upon him, the kneel in homage, a phony display of worship. Jesus is bloody, bruised and battered, and yet they mocked him. At the cross they stripped him and nailed him to the cross, without any dignity, he's almost completely naked. The maker of the universe is shamed. What sort of king would this be? Even those passer bys derided him with insults and curses. They dropped F bombs on our Lord Jesus. These are nobodys who are deriding him, they just happen to be passing by. Even the criminals on his left and right reviled Him according to Mark!
This scene is one of remarkable rejection. If we look back at chapter 14 to this moment, we see a systematic desertion of everyone close to Jesus (begins with Judas, Peter, 3 closest disciples in the Garden, the disciples flee when he's arrested). Even a naked man runs away rather to be naked than be caught with Jesus. Our shame compares nothing this! Jesus never sinned, he never lied, insulted. Instead he lived the moral guideline. He deserves medals and accolades, standing ovations, Nobel peace prize. What he received instead was rejection by everyone. Has there been a man treated with such little dignity by those who were so far beneath Him? The insulters did not know their place. They should have shown reverence but instead they showed contempt and insult!
What is the point of this passage? If it was pity, he would have described the physical torture of the cross to make us feel sorry for Him. Mark does not want us to feel sorry for Jesus. Too many people in our churches feel sorry for Him and mistake that for worship, it is not worship. This story shows us that Jesus is sufficient to bear our sin and our shame. There are two kinds of shame: 1) the shame we should feel, guilt. Our world wants to remove shame, but when there is objective guilt there should be shame. 2) The shame we should not feel, misplaced shame, a sense of dirtiness because something happened to you (all sorts of reasons we can feel shame that we shouldn't). Jesus helps with both kinds of shame. For the first kind he forgives our real sin, he severs the root of shame! He sustained the embarassment and ridicule that we should face for our sins! We deserve shame, but because of Jesus we need not feel it. All the shame that we should get has been taken upon Jesus Himself, the cross was the fulfillment of divine justice for you and for me. The good news of the Gospel is Jesus paid it all! And he helps with the second kind of shame, that which we shouldn't feel. Jesus is a sympathetic high priest, we have a savior who experienced that shame a thouseand times more and he cares and understands. He can show us the way to turn from the shame and not return it. Hebrews 12 says Jesus despised the shame, he regarded it as unworthy of his consideration, I count this to be nothing, because the eternal joy was everything, so present humiliation was of no consequence. We can despise shame because the end of the story for us is JOY!
Shame is not the end of our story as a Christian because it was not the end of the story for Jesus. Remember the two states of Christ, his humiliation and his exaltation! Humiliation is not the end. These will be our states, days of exaltation and days of humiliation. Our life is a journey to this final Joy, this final exaltation. There is no easy path to this. Despise the shame, but you cannot run from it. With His stripes our shame can be healed.
JT Holderman is pursuing a Th.M. in Homiletics here at Gordon-Conwell. He earned his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2012. JT is currently in the ordination process of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church with hopes of taking a call as a pastor in the coming year. His journey to Gordon-Conwell began when he sensed a deeper need for clear Biblical teaching in preaching to prepare him for ministry. He hails from Seattle, WA by way of Idaho and New Jersey. JT blogs at Praise and is an avid Mountain Biker and Bodyboarder.