Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
– Hebrews 12:1-3
Jesus got His hands and His feet dirty.
He ate with drunkards. He touched the unclean. He spoke to harlots and the demon-possessed and dead people. He chose to be with those from whom others ran.
Why? Because He came for the broken. He arrived on earth to heal the sick. He did not come to build a cutting-edge ministry. He did not care what others thought of Him. In fact, He took no thought for Himself at all. Not only did He not care about His reputation, the Bible says He purposely became a man of no reputation.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
– Philippians 2:5-8 (KJV)
Christ Jesus left His crown behind when He walked this earth. He had it all, but He did not want to live in heaven without His creation. He was beaten, mocked, hated, and treated like dirt by the people He came to save. He could have walked away at any time.
But He did not.
He took the abuse and allowed His body to be tortured. He allowed His captors to strip Him and scourge Him. He allowed them to place upon His head the crown we deserved. He let them nail Him to an executioner’s cross. He wore our shame, and He paid the price for our crimes.
As He hung forsaken on the cross, He offered only forgiveness, sealed in His blood.
Jesus saved us and cleaned us up and gave us a future. If we step over the bodies of those suffering around us because we don’t want to be soiled by their brokenness, we have betrayed the Master who bought us and commanded us to follow Him.
All. The. Way.
This Easter, as Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, pray about doing more than learning a new worship song. Ask God to open your heart and your eyes to someone who will die alone and unloved without you. It may tarnish your reputation to sit with the kid no one else likes or visit an elderly man with dementia. You might have to give up a Saturday to mow the grass for someone who probably won’t understand the sacrifice of a precious weekend.
God is calling you to a deeper ministry from which you have been running for years.
One that would demand sacrifices you haven’t wanted to make. But His words have reverberated in your soul:
“Preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” -Matthew 10:7-8
Your Master walked where men feared to tread. He left with lives changed forever. He calls us to do the same. Do not wander in blindly; proceed with wisdom and prayer.
But do it. Despise the shame, lose your reputation, and gain a life.