by Mary Beth Powers
When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” John 8:10 NKJV
In the story of the adulteress woman, can you imagine how afraid she was to answer for her sin in front of the religious leaders and Jesus?
I imagine her standing with her head bowed in shame after being dragged through the streets and into the temple. The religious leaders shouted accusingly, “Look what this woman has done! What will you do about this, Jesus?”
They were trying to trap Him. If He quoted Mosaic Law about punishment for adultery, the Romans would come after Him. If He failed to condemn her act, the Jews would go against Him. So he answered their clever ruse with a simple statement: “Let the one who is without sin throw the first stone!”
We use that verse to push back when we feel judged by others. But I find a bigger application, because I resonate with those feelings of shame.
Some days I would just like to insert whatever failure I experienced that day into this Scripture. Things like words of condemnation I might have spoken over my spouse or the dismissing of a friend’s pain. Maybe even feeling sorry for myself. Some days I feel like a complete failure.
But I am certain I do not stand in my shame alone.
If I imagine myself standing in the presence of Jesus in my shame, what would he say to me? Because of his radical love, I imagine it would go something like this….
As we stand alone in the dirt, I am sure my feelings of inadequacy would rise in full force. I would feel exposed. Jesus would take off his cloak or robe and place it around me. I imagine standing in His shadow as He stands next to me. He will not leave me standing alone. He would stand with me. In those moments, close by His side, a feeling of safety would flood my soul.
“Like a shepherd, he tends his flock; he gathers up the lambs with his arm; he carries them close to his heart; he leads the ewes along” (Isaiah 40:11 NET).
This is not the first time God has wanted to cover us in our shame. Go back to the first time Adam and Eve mess up in the garden, and you will find Him covering them for the first time as they stood feeling exposed and in shame.
“And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” Genesis 3:21 NLT
There are many times throughout His word He simply just wants to wrap His robe or yet his arms around us leaving with His peace, not shame. Jesus bore our shame on the cross. He covers us with His Righteousness is not the creator of shame.
It is our nature to want to hide from God, but we should never be afraid of standing before Jesus.
He does not dismiss the sin. It is in the presence of Jesus where our sin dissipates, and we become free of sin. Only through Jesus is where real forgiveness takes place.
The next time you feel shame in your sin try standing naked (vulnerable or humble) before Jesus and let Him cover you.
“And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NET
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Mary Beth speaks and writes with an open heart. She believes there is freedom in sharing our brokenness with each other. She loves to share her story of real heart transformation to freedom in Christ. Mary Beth and her husband are enjoying their new season of being first time grandparents.
Join the conversation: Have you ever felt the Lord’s presence during a shameful moment?