Hebrews 12:2 says of Jesus that He “for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God.” That phrase, “despising the shame” is an interesting one. “Shame” is something that people usually try to avoid, and they are intimidated by it. Public shame often is one of the strongest motivators for action — or inhibitors which leads to inaction! Most people seem to want to avoid shame at almost any cost.
And yet we see that Jesus “turned the tables” on shame. Rather than being intimidated by shame — the shame of the cross, the nakedness, the public humiliation, the condemnation, the infamy — instead He “despised the shame.” He did not allow Himself to be intimidated by it. He did not allow shame to keep Him from doing God’s will, by dying on the cross to purchase our redemption. “Despising the shame”, He did it anyway!
Many of us need to learn to imitate Jesus in this. When individuals or the public or the media would “despise” us, and attempt to “shame” us for living or speaking for the Lord, we need to learn to “turn the tables” on their attempted shame, and “despise” it right back! May we not intimidated from doing what is right because of the supposed “shame” the world would heap on us. Rather may we, for the joy set before us, wholeheartedly serve the One who endured the cross, “despising the shame” for us!