Shame on Jesus

By Jim Tune

Three men sat together. After ordering food, one began to open up. Men usually speak about safe topics: work, sports, family. This time the man took a risk and dropped the mask. He felt exposed. He felt shame.

Genesis 2:25 describes Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the fall: “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Kids and teens snicker at the verse. Later we begin to understand that we long for what Adam and Eve experienced: to be fully known and to be loved at the same time. Sin robbed us of the ability to drop the masks and to be fully known and loved. We wonder if people would still love us if they really knew the truth about us. We no longer feel safe.

“Shame is the deep sense that you are unacceptable because of something you did, something done to you, or something associated with you,” Ed Welch writes in Shame Interrupted. “You feel exposed and humiliated.” We get it.

We can all relate to Johnny Depp, who told Rolling Stone magazine: “Covering myself up in makeup, it’s easier to look at someone else. It’s easier to look at someone else’s face than your own. I think for everyone. . . . You wake up in the morning, and you brush your teeth, and you’re like, ‘Ugh, that [idiot] again. You’re still here? What do you want?’ Hiding: I think it’s important. It’s important for your—for whatever’s left of your sanity, I guess.”

Since leaving Eden, we’re all in the business of hiding. We’re all familiar with shame.

Then came Jesus.

We’re good at talking about how Jesus takes away our guilt. What we need to understand is that Jesus also takes away our shame. Hebrews 12:2 says that Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame.” At the cross, Jesus was stripped and shamed. He bore our shame; he took all the consequence of shame, like isolation and rejection, on our behalf. He’s defeated shame, so that Satan has no right to use it against us. At the cross, Jesus didn’t just take our guilt, he took our shame. In doing this, he gave us honor.

At the restaurant, one man reminded himself of this. He found a couple of trusted friends and dropped the mask. He felt exposed, but then his friends reminded him that there’s no longer any shame for anyone who is in Jesus. They reminded him that Jesus couldn’t love him any more than he already does, and there’s nothing he can do about it. Then they dropped their masks too.

As long as we’re on this earth, we will feel shame. One day Jesus will completely remove our masks, and we’ll be fully known and loved. Until then, praise God for safe moments when we can drop our masks with trusted friends. In those moments we can be both loved and known, and reminded that there’s no longer any reason to be ashamed.

Editor’s note: Jim Tune’s column has appeared weekly at this website since July, 2014. As we post this, his last column, we express deep gratitude for the insight and challenge he has brought us again and again. Search “Jim Tune” at our website to discover the rich archive of the pieces he has written.

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  1. Al LaRue
    April 12, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Jim’s column has been one I have looked forward to and read every time. They will be missed. – Al LaRue

  2. Carl Lipke
    April 13, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Very disappointed to not have any more of Jim’s wisdom and insight in the future of CS… He has a special voice that our broken world can really connect with!

  3. April 13, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    When it says Jesus “endured the cross, despising the shame,” I think a lot of folks misunderstand that.
    People think despise = hate.
    If I saw someone with the latest cell phone, & I offered him a candy bar in exchange for it, he would despise the candy bar. He would think it was not even worth considering.
    How could Jesus think nothing of the shame of being mocked, of being stripped & alone on that cross?
    That same verse says it was “for the joy that lay before Him” that Jesus was able to despise the shame.
    What was the joy?
    You & me.
    He would win himself a Bride.
    God is so good!

  4. Laureen Estabrooks
    April 13, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    Jim Tune’s writing has a provocative edge making the reader search their own heart in relation to the message given. His articles are challenging and have allowed me to see many situations from a differing vantage point and often come to a more positive understanding. Always a pleasure to read something from Jim’s pen. Keep up the good work. Look forward to your articles.

  5. Dave Thurman
    April 14, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Very sad to read that this is Jim’s last column. His writing is filled with depth, fabulous quotes from literature, and pointed, personal application. I always feel richer after reading one of Jim’s columns, and his observations into both human nature and God’s will always resonate. Thanks, Jim, for your fine work. It will be greatly missed.

  6. Jared
    April 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm


    It seems to me the whole “like a boss” meme of a few years ago really was just a re-hash of this comment from Hebrews. For that matter, maybe *The Hebrews Guy* was thinking of the story heard from one of the 12 when he wrote this “despising” comment about Jesus: “The angel rolled aside the stone and sat on it…” [like a boss!]

    I have loved this style of sharing the writings of many. Jim’s especially has been nourishing for me. Maybe it’s time to print the archive…

  7. Darlene Nanni
    April 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    I’m very disappointed and saddened to hear that this is Jim Tune’s last column in the Christian Standard. Jim’s writing communicated important thought provoking truths that touched the readers’ heart and his inspiring writing always provided courage to face personal challenges, with God’s strength. In an otherwise stormy and chaotic world, it was refreshing to look forward to reading his insightful and encouraging articles…and I will miss that.

  8. April 17, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    I am sorry to hear that Jim will not be writing for you any longer. I appreciate his insights and the thought provoking manner in which he approaches the topics he writes about. Jim is a very well rounded writer with such a variety of ideas and sources to refer to in his writing. Jim is unique in his way of both presenting a point and also causing the reader to think through his/her notions and ideas about the topic. He will be missed.

  9. April 18, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I am really going to miss Jim’s back page column (which I always read first!). I am blessed to have Jim working alongside me as associate editor of ONE BODY Magazine, a quarterly launched by Don DeWelt in 1984. Jim always rings the bell with his good columns, and this last one in CS is at least going out on another good note!

  10. Matt Shears
    April 18, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for this insightful column, Jim. I was disappointed to hear this is his last column with the Christian Standard. These columns have always been theologically reflective and spiritually edifying for myself and for many others. I have appreciated the mixture of scholarly quotations from theologians, literary musings from great authors, insightful references to history, artistic reflections on life, and a prophetic voice from within the 4Cs. Thanks for the great columns. Sad to see them go. I hope the Solomon Foundation will reconsider.

  11. Julie McCallum
    April 18, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    Really going to miss Jim’s writing. A significant loss to the Standard.

  12. Chris Brodie
    April 18, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    I’m disappointed to hear that this is Jim’s last column. Jim is well read, well educated, has a firm grasp on the scriptures, and has a critical mind. When Jim communicates, he is able to relay ideas in a way that is compelling, challenging, and always engaging. His unique perspective has enriched my walk with God in ways that no other writer has. I will miss Jim’s contributions to Christian Standard.

  13. Joy Brereton
    April 18, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I am very disappointed and saddened that this may be Jim Tune’s last article. Jim has always made sure that his articles were Bible based, current and thought provoking. So sorry to hear that!

  14. Cheryl
    April 18, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    Sorry to see him go. He’s the reason I went to the site every Wednesday.

  15. Lloyd Strickland
    April 19, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    It was nice to have a Canadian perspective in the Standard. I’ll miss the articles. Thanks Jim!

  16. Annaliz Martinez
    April 19, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I am absolutely saddened that this will be Jim’s last article. He is a thoughtful and reflective writer. His view on scriptures makes it real and challenging. Will miss your authenticity! God bless you my friend!!

  17. Jim Tune
    April 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Thank you all for so many encouraging comments and kind words!

  18. April 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Jim, thanks for such a fine article as a capstone to your weekly contributions to the Standard. The work you’ve produced is always thought-provoking and frequently provocative. It has been a joy reading your perspectives over the years. Whether you were discussing missiology or nuts and bolts Christian doctrine, your pen was sharp and your mind insightful from your work as a pastor and church planter. Regardless of what else might be said about an individual article, your heart for people and the Gospel was always apparent, as is so ably demonstrated in this final piece. God bless you in your next endeavors. I’m sure that He has much more for you to do.

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