In this message, we learn that Jesus took our shame so that we might have his worth.

Hey everybody, how we doing? I want to give a big welcome to our Denton campus. We are so glad that you guys are here with us today and we are in our series called, it is finished. And we are talking about Jesus’s three last words on the cross when he said, it is finished. And we are trying to understand that if Jesus finished something for us it is pretty important for us to understand. What is finished. So, we can stop working on it and enjoy the rest that he has given us, and we started the first week by saying that Jesus was forsaken, so that you will never have to be. That he took the rejection upon himself that we were supposed to experience and God tore open the temple curtain and came busting out onto this earth until separation between us and God was finished. And then last week we said that Jesus became thirsty so that you could become satisfied, that he took our thirst upon himself are striving, are achieving. Jesus took it all and released rivers of living water, so that you and I might experience his satisfaction. And I realize that this series is a little bit of a deeper dive. That we have gone into some deep things, and we are trying to unpack some big stuff that really can change our lives. And so, here is what I would like to do. I would like to ask you to take, everybody take, a big deep breath and go. Aah.

I would like to take one more big deep dive today, and then we will come up for some air for the next few weeks. Can we do that?

Can you go on one more deep dive with me? Okay. So, get ready and let us dive here. You see, we have really been talking about our identity and we have said that it is so important to understand your identity because you will always live up to your level of your perceived identity. Who you are will always determine what you do. And we said that Jesus is not a picture of who I can become he is a mirror of who I now am. That he is not a picture of somebody that I can strive and with all my efforts, someday maybe if I get everything just right become like him. No, no, no. He is now a mirror of who I now am in him. Because first John 4:17 tells us in this world we are like him. As he is, so we are. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live. It is Christ who lives within me. I have been included in Christ. So, if I want to know who I am, all I now need to do is look at Jesus. And the more I look at Jesus, the more I see who I now am. Because he is a mirror of who I am because of what he did with the finished work of the cross of Jesus. So, if you got your Bibles turn with me to Matthew 27. Matthew chapter 27, and as you are turning they are in this kind of deep dive that we are taking together let me ask you another hard and challenging question.

How do you feel about your past? In your own life, how do you feel about your past? I realize many of you may have not thought much about your past today or recently at all but, but how do you feel about your past? Like are you ashamed and embarrassed and wish no one knew about your past. Do you look at your past and have some kind of pride with it. Like I have made a lot of good choices. I am a self-made man or a self-made woman or do you look at your past and see it as the story of grace written upon your life. You see I think, a lot of us, we really struggle with our past. In fact in a lot of ways, our past paralyses us from moving forward in this life. And it is because we do not understand nor believe in the finished work of the cross of Jesus. And that is where I want to kind of go today and so, let me set it up for you. Jesus is handed over by the Jews to Pilate, the Roman governor, right. We have been looking at the crucifixion story of Jesus with this. And so, Jesus is given to Pilate, and Pilate examines Jesus. He looks him over, asks him every kind of question he can think of, looks him up and down, and then Pilate goes back out in front of the Jewish people and he declares I find no fault in him. If there was ever a prophetic statement that was it right there. I find no fault in him, which means there was nothing to hide, nothing to cover nothing was wrong. Jesus was spotless, blameless, and pure. And Pilate goes out, and he declares it.

You see in the Old Testament, the people, they would come to the temple and when they came to the temple they would bring with them a lamb. And the lamb would be offered for the sacrifices of their sins, the forgiveness of their sins but before the lamb could be offered they would have to give it to a priest, and the priest would take the lamb and he would take it and he would examine it and turn it around and look at every angle of the lamb, because only spotless, blameless, and pure lambs could be offered for the forgiveness of the people sins. And once that lamb was looked over by the priest, he would hold it up and in front of all the people he would declare, I find no fault in it. I find no fault in it. Which means it is now an appropriate or an acceptable sacrifice to be offered and when the person bringing the lamb, gave it to the priest, no one was ever looking at the failures of the person offering the lamb. They were always looking at the perfection of the Lamb. Perfection was traded out for failure.

In fact, Hebrews 10:14 says it was by a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person. I find no fault in him. To perfect some very imperfect people by that single offering he did everything that needed to be done for everyone who takes part in the purifying process. Because there was no fault in Jesus, he could be the spotless, blameless, pure lamb offered for the sacrifices for us. So, now when you are in Jesus, the father, looks at you and says, I find no fault in you. That is really good news. Okay.

So it goes on, verse 27 Pilate declares I find no fault in him. He hands Jesus over to be crucified. It says, then the governor soldiers, took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered around a whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then they twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him, “Hail King of the Jews” they said. They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again, and after they had mocked him they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they let him away to crucify.

You can feel the emotion of the passage. They take Jesus and they strip his clothes off and they put a scarlet robe upon him. And they take a crown of thorns put it on his head, put a staff in his right hand and they start to beat Jesus. They spit on him. They mock him. They embarrass him. They shame him. They get on the ground, and they say Hail King of the Jews. I mean, they shame Jesus full on out embarrassment, and while we may not have experienced at that level. We have all experienced something like that, that sense of embarrassment and shame and being scorned by other people but, but this is Jesus. Like this is Jesus, the guy full of love and compassion, a guy who just a few days ago was giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, raising dead people from the ground, casting out demons, healing the lepers. This is Jesus, the man who no fault was found in him. And yet in this moment what is happening is Jesus was taking our shame, so that we might have his worth. In fact, Jesus took the scarlet robe, so we could have a robe of righteousness. He took the scarlet robe, so we could have the robe of righteousness. He took our scarlet robe, so we could have his robe of righteousness.

You see the scarlet robe that it is describing there really it is, it is talking about our shame. His scarlet robe is our shame. The deep stains in our lives. The stains that no matter how hard we try, we are just unable to scrub them out. The stains we spend a lifetime trying to cover up. The stains that haunt our minds and our hearts. Our stains were placed upon Jesus in this moment. In fact, Isaiah 1:18 says, though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though your sins, your shame is so stained within you that there is no way it could ever come out, it will become as white as snow, how? Because Jesus will take the scarlet robe upon himself. He will take your shame. Isaiah 61:10 says, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has robed me, covered me, clothed me with the robe of righteousness. Jesus took the scarlet robe, our scarlet robes, so you could have the robe of righteousness. He took your shame that you might have his worth.

And what I think is so cool in this moment is you see the picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It says they take off his clothes, they put the scarlet robe upon him, and then they take the scarlet robe off and put his clothes back on him. It is a picture of Jesus, his holiness. Jesus, his holiness, was taken off of him for us. He put our shame upon himself with the scarlet robe. He died and when he rose again from the grave he did not rise with the scarlet robe upon him with our shame upon him, he rose covered in cloth back in his own holiness. This is the picture of the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. And I love just a few verses later when Jesus is crucified and he dies, it says the Roman soldiers cast lots for who is going to get his clothes.

In other words, it is a symbolic picture to show us that those who crucified him would get his holiness. Those who crucified him would get his holiness. Those who crucified him would get his holiness. Jesus took your shame that you might have his worth. And it is so important for us to understand, there is this huge difference between guilt and shame. Okay. Huge difference, and guilt is about your behavior, shame is your identity. Guilt is your action. Shame is about worth. Guilt is, I did wrong, I did bad, I made a mess. Shame is I am wrong, I am bad, I am a mess. Guilt is all about what I do. Shame is about who I am and in this moment, Jesus took the identity stains that were on us. He took them upon himself the shame we were never supposed to have in the first place. In fact, here is a big statement and I will unpack it for you is Jesus became covered, so we could become naked.

Jesus became covered, so we could become naked. I know, it sounds really odd and you are thinking where on earth is this message good. This is a deep dive man. You said deep, we are going deep. We are going deep. So, let me explain this to you, you have to go back to the garden again. We have said in everything we are going back to the garden, why? Because what Adam messed up for us, Jesus came to redeem for us. And in Genesis 2:25, it says the man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame. Adam and Eve, they lived in the garden. They were naked and they had no shame. They were, they were pure. They were holy. They were innocent. There was nothing to hide. There was nothing to cover. There was no stains upon their lives. They were blameless. They were pure. They live naked before each other, naked before the presence of God. Do you realize in the beginning of the garden nothing was ever hidden. Nothing was ever covered up. Everything was open, because it was all pure and innocent and blameless and that is your sounds like Jesus lived. Do not you think?

He lived very pure and innocent and free, nothing to hide. But then you know what happened, Adam and Eve, Genesis 3, verse 6, is when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom. She took some and she ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened. Then they realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. It was in this moment shame was released into the world. Shame. They are now naked and afraid and ashamed. They are hiding. They are covering. They are, they are afraid. They had never did this before, but now shame stains upon themselves. Stains that are so deep that all they know to do is to be afraid, and to run and hide. And they were not just guilty, they were literally ashamed. And because those stains were so strong upon themselves, they went and they made fig leaves to cover themselves up.

And in the Bible fig leaves are always a representation of self-righteousness. Self-righteousness. Our efforts to cover up our own stain, to cover up our own shame. Our own effort to make ourselves look better than we really are. It was in this moment that self-righteousness was released into the world. That achieving was released into the world. They never had self-righteousness or achieving before this moment, but now because of their stains they are trying to spend their life covering up nothing had ever been hidden, nothing had ever been covered. It never had to, because it was innocent and perfect and pure and holy, and now they are spending their lives trying to cover up the stains upon their lives. And you and I both know there is nothing you can do to cover up those things. Nothing.

And they traded their life of freedom and nakedness and being uncovered and enjoying life for a life of fear, hiding, and shame. And it was in this moment they became consumed with themselves and started judging others. Because, that is what shame causes you to do. You become consumed with yourself and you want to judge other people. The reason you are consumed with yourself is because you got to figure out through your own self-righteousness how to get the right fig leaves to cover it up, so nobody can see the stains upon your life. That is why we are so focused on ourselves, and then we start to judge others because we want to find other people’s stains, so we can point them out when their fig leaf is pushed over to the side a little bit and say, shame, shame, know your name, I see it right there. You know.

We get consumed with ourselves and we start to judge others and the bummer about shame is it is the greatest intimacy blocker there is. And think about it. Adam and Eve were covering up from each other and God, when no one else around. It shows you that it is an identity stain upon their lives that they want to cover up from each other and from God, which blocks intimacy. And that is what you and I do. We cover up from each other. We cover up from God. That is why we never feel known or never feel like we really know other people. And in this moment when shame was released, we have spent our lives trying to cover it up ever since in all the wrong ways. We try to cover it up with religion, with achieving, with striving, performing, earning, the way we look. We do everything we can to cover up our shame and our stain, and you and I both know that it never really gets covered. Sure, you can trick other people for a while and they may not know it is there, but you know it is there.

And when you are trying to cover up your shame, it is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness. It is through your own effort. You are trying to cover up a scar, a stain upon your own identity. And if you ever figured it out in the gospels, Jesus is the most harsh on self-righteousness. It is when he comes down the hardest. Like sometimes, I listen to Jesus, talk to people about self-righteousness, why? Because we were never supposed to spend our lives covering up. That is why he is so hard on it.

In fact, you remember the story when Jesus says he is hungry when he sees a fig tree off in the distance and he has leaves all over it. He walks over the fig tree, hoping it is going to have figs to feed himself. When he gets to the fig tree, and he looks all the way through all the leaves and only the problem is, is there is no figs on the fig tree. And so, Jesus steps back and he curses the fig tree and says, may no one ever eat from you again.

Like, it sounds like a harsh response. So just think like Jesus, man go get a cheeseburger. It is going to be alright. Like things are going to be okay. May no one ever eat your fruit again. And in that moment Jesus responds so harsh, because what a fig leaf represent self-righteousness. And he is showing us that self-righteousness will never produce fruit in your life. And he is saying to us, may no one ever live a life of self-righteousness covering up their shame and their stand again, because I have now come to give you my righteousness. Self-righteousness is a life of achieving. Jesus righteousness is a life of receiving. That is why he was so hard on the Pharisees, because the Pharisees figured out how to do it better than anybody. How to get all the fig leaves just right, so no one could see the stain of their own identity. You see, see what Adam did for us in this moment, is just this way he wrecked our identity. Okay.

You may be sitting here thinking, I am not ashamed of my past. I am a self-made man or woman. Okay. I do not care what you feel about your past, here is the deal. Adam did not just make you guilty, he made you ashamed. He wrecked your identity. Romans 5:19 says, through the disobedience of one man, Adam, many were made sinners. But through the obedience of one man, Jesus, many more were made righteous. Think about this. This is identity. Through the disobedience of one man, Adams, through what he did in the garden, many were made sinners. It is an identity. It is a defining statement. It is who you are, but through the obedience of one man, Jesus, many were made righteous. It is an identity statement. It is a definer. It is who you are, which means there is no such thing as a righteous sinner for identity statements. You cannot be a righteous sinner.

We walk around kicking a can, oh man, I am just like a, you know, say by grace to barely man righteous. No. We have, we have got bad theology people. Bad theology. You are a sinner when you are an Adam. It is an identity statement, and there is no amount of self-righteousness or covering up with fig leaves or achieving that could ever change that identity. Do you agree with that?

Nothing you can do, why? Because it is underneath. It is who you are, which means there is no amount of failure you can do when you are in Jesus to ever make you become unrighteous.

If I cannot put on enough fig leaves to get me out of the sinner category to the righteous category, then I cannot have enough failure to get me out of the righteous category into the sinner category. Because it is identity.

You are either a sinner or righteous. You are either under the curse of Adam or under the freedom of Jesus. There is no in between. And so, Jesus became covered, so we could become naked. He became covered with our shame, so we could live in the freedom of his holiness and his purity. Jesus was covered up so you and I do not have to spend a life covering up. He took the scarlet robe upon himself. In fact, here is the question I want to ask you is, what are you ashamed of? Right now, what are you ashamed of? What are you trying to cover up in your life? Maybe it is a failed marriage. Maybe it is an affair. Maybe it is an abortion. Maybe it is a lost job or the way you look or a crime or an addiction, something you said to somebody else, something that has been said to you some years ago. Maybe it is not even something you did, maybe it is something that was done to you. Can I tell you? Jesus took that stain, and it was smeared upon him with the scarlet robe, that you might be cleansed and free.

He took your shame that you might have his worth. The scarlet robe was worn by Jesus. It does not have to be worn by you anymore.

You see, in Jesus we are not just covered, we are cleansed. So often we hear this in church, we say I am covered by the blood of Jesus. Yes, you are covered by the blood of Jesus but you are also cleansed. You see, if you were only covered by the blood of Jesus, then the blood of Jesus would be on top of you and underneath that you would still have the same identity. You would still have your shame and your sin, and if it went like this you would be like, oh do not look. You know, it is going to, going to come back. It does not change your identity, and so I was thinking about it this week. In fact when I started studying on this, do you know my big idea for you is going to be Jesus got naked so we could be clothed. The exact opposite. Because I thought Jesus got naked on the cross. Well, now I can be covered in cloth. No, no, no, no. God never wanted anything to be covered. He never wanted anything to be hidden. He never wanted anybody to feel like there was something that needed to be covered up in their life. He wanted them to be free and innocent and pure, and Jesus the one who no fault was found in him was the perfect spotless lamp. That is why he was naked on the cross. Because he was ready to be the perfect sacrifice. There was nothing hidden between him and God, and it was reversed.

Jesus took the robe, the scarlet robe, got us cloth, so you and I could be naked because he cleansed us. First John 1:9 says, if we for confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness and cleanse us and purify us from all unrighteousness. I am getting so excited, I do not even know how to bring those words out of my mouth. Let us try it again. I am going to, I going to memorize, but I will read it. If we confess our sins, you are like, you do not have it memorize, we just heard it. Okay.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us. Present tense, cleanse and the original Greek constantly cleansed from all unrighteousness. Which means, your identity has changed. Adam made you a sinner and ashamed. Jesus made you righteous and free.

Second Corinthians 5:21 for God made him Jesus, who knew no sin, no fault was found in him, to be sin for us. He took the scarlet robe, so that in him you could become the righteousness of God. Identity statement done. You are a new creation. You have been raised to a new life. The old you is dead and gone. It has been taken to Jesus. Why are you still ashamed and trying to cover up of something that is dead and gone.

Okay, take a breath. We will come back up to the surface for a second. Let me, let me try to pull it back together for you. Think of the story of Peter for a second. Poor Peter, Peter had a rough go in the Bible.

Jesus is on his way to the cross and, and he tells Peter, says, Peter before the rooster crows you are going to deny me three times, but not, not me, Lord. These all John, he is definitely going to fall away but not me Lord. I am stand strong to the end, you know. And, and Jesus says it is going to happen. And so they take Jesus and I start trying him before the Jewish leaders, and they are going through the process. And, and Peter is out there and a little servant girl comes up to Peter and says, “hey, I know you. You are a galleon. You are one of his disciples.” And Peter freaks out. It’s like no, no, no, not me. And he denies Jesus to a servant girl. It is not like a Roman centurion with a spear in his hand. It is like a servant girl. Three times he denies Jesus. The rooster crows in the book of Luke tells us the Jesus’ eyes look over, and they make eye contact with Peter.

Covering in shame.

You have been there, I have been there you know that moment. And you just feel covered in shame. Just Peter turns and he weeps and he runs and what does he do? He runs and hides, because that is what we do when we are ashamed. We run and we hide. And Peter goes to Galilee. He goes out fishing thinking this is over. My relationship with Jesus is done. I better get back to life and find something to cover up my shame. And Jesus is crucified. He dies. He raises again from the grave and other resurrected Jesus comes, and the disciples are out fishing and the resurrected Jesus is walking down the shore of the Sea of Galilee. They do not realize that it is Jesus, which in case you are putting it together this sure sounds a whole lot like the garden story. Does not it? When Adam and Eve are hiding with their shame, with their fig leaves God comes walking through the garden to come and find them, and Jesus comes in, he looks out at the boat and he says, he calls out, they do not know it is Jesus, and he says, children have you caught anything?

He uses the word children. As almost as if to say to Peter. Peter, you are innocent, blameless, and pure. Because children are not ashamed of anything. They do not hide. They do not afraid. They are pure and they are free. So, we talk about living as sons and daughters. Because it is when you get that you finally live free. “Children have you caught anything.” They said no. He says, then throw your net over the side of the boat. They throw their net over the boat, and nets full of fish. It is about to break, and all of a sudden they realize it is Jesus. Now, catch this. Peter, the worst failure of his life. Jesus comes and finds Peter. Peter does not find Jesus. Jesus shows up with kindness and goodness and grace, overloads a boatload full of fish. Did Peter deserve a fish at that moment. I would not have given Peter. No fish. I am just saying.

Peter did not deserve no fish, but it is kindness. That leads us to repentance and Jesus shows up and he meets Peter, and Peter figures it out and he jumps in the water and swims to Jesus. Jesus makes a little fire, cook some fish, feeds Peter. They go for a little walk and three times Jesus looks at Peter and he says, “Peter, feed my sheep.” He restores Peter. He commissions him for his assignment three times, same number that Peter denied him. Almost as if to say, “hey, Peter that shame was wiped out my scarlet robe, it is done, you are free.” And Peter never failed Jesus again after this point.

Why? Because grace changes us. This is not about your love for God. It is always about God’s love for you.

Religion says clean up and you can come. Jesus says come that you might be cleaned. And I realize for some of us, some of you, as we have been talking about this over the season, you are like, you are like looking at me, and I can just sense it, sometimes you are like, yeah but you cannot tell people this because if you tell them you are going to go crazy. I am going to take advantage of it. Okay. This just means that they do not understand it. A while back Colleen and the kids and I, we were out at a meal, and we were at a restaurant and we are eating, just having a great time and towards the end of the meal, a waiter, the waiter came over and he said, “hey sir.” He said, “I just want to let you know.” He said, a family in the restaurant bought your guys this meal and so, whenever you are done the meals paid for you just let me know. Order whatever the rest that you want and we will take care of it. And I looked at Colleen, and I was like seriously. I started looking around the restaurant and I asked the guy, I am like well who is it. So, I can say thank you and see if I know him. He said no, they already left but they left their credit card on file. And so whatever you guys finish up with we will go ahead and take care of it. You just let me know when you are done. Now, do you realize now one time after that moment did I ever think, “Hey, we are not paying for this order two desserts man.”

You want the cheesecake and the chocolate cake, just get him both. Emma, what do you want baby? You want some. Let us get that too. Never one time that I think, “hey, you know what let us order like to go for tonight. We can take home a full meal.”

For tonight and try you got school tomorrow, would not you want to take to school buddy. We will throw that in, on the deal too. I mean this is open deal. We do not know who it is. This is good news. No, not one time. In fact, it was the opposite. I sat there and thought, man, I wish I would not ordered the iced tea. The kids probably could have split one meal together. We probably did not need. Then I started thinking, I want to do this for somebody. The next time, I am in a restaurant. You see that is what grace does. It changes everything within you. Grace does not empower you to sin. It gives you the power to overcome sin.

And Jesus is more concerned about setting you free than he is about you taking advantage of him. We are more concerned about people taking advantage of Jesus than setting them free. So to put some practicality to this for you, because I know this has been some just kind of identity stuff. Let me just real quickly pull this all together for you. How do you live free, naked, uncovered, free of the shame that Jesus has done for us, okay. These are real quick. First thing is this you just got to tell somebody. Tell somebody. Tell somebody about the thing that you are ashamed of. In fact, you know you are still ashamed of it if nobody knows about it. You know you are ashamed of it if nobody knows about it. James 5:16 says confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed. We confess to each other not so that we will be forgiven, we are already forgiven in Jesus, we confess to each other that we might be free. First John tells us that if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship with each other. In other words, if we take off all the fig leaves and all this stuff and are just uncovered and bear and real before each other, that is where intimacy comes from.

And your shame only has power when it is kept in the darkness. So, I say it wants to make you feel so bad about it because as long as it is back here it breeds, it grows, it has power in your life. The moment you take it out of the darkness and you bring it into the light, like bam the thing gets zapped and it has no power anymore. It has gone. You got to tell somebody. And when I say tell somebody, I am talking like a godly relationship. Somebody that gets this, they can look at you and say Jesus took the scarlet robe man, you are free. It is finished. Do not go to the grocery store and walk up to some lady and be like, mam, like 10 years ago in my life that is like one time I, you know.

No, no, no. That is not going to make you feel any better.

No. It got to be a godly relationship. And when you tell them, you will feel vulnerable, and you will feel that vulnerability hangover for the moment. You will feel awful like when you walk away, but then all of a sudden you will be like, I am free. You see some of us are spending our lives trying to pay for a debt that has already been paid for. And some of us are spending our lives trying to cover up a stain that is already been cleansed. Some of us spending our lives trying to pay a debt that has already been paid for, sin it is already been paid for. You do not have to work it back. And some of us are spending our lives trying to cover up a stain, a stain, that is already been cleansed. In fact, when you finally have the courage in Jesus to tell somebody else and you pull that fig leaf off, the moment it comes off you look at yourself and you will realize it is pure, spotless, and blameless. Because there was no fault in him, which means there is now no fault in you.

Stop spending your life, covering up stains that God does not define you by anymore. He did not hold them to your account. They were on the scarlet robe. You got to tell somebody. Second thing is this, get baptized. Okay. Get baptized. Some of you are here you say, I am a follower of Jesus. You have never been baptized. That is your next step period. It is that easy. You do not have to pray about it. You do not have to think about it. You just need to be obedient just go and do it. I do not know some of you are thinking, why I got to cleaned up my life a little bit before I get baptized. Does anyone ever clean up to take a bath.

I never clean up my kids to throw them in a bath. I draw the bath and throw them in the water. Jesus is the bath. Come to him and let him clean you.

Do you remember the story of the Israelites, right. In the Old Testament, 400 years of Egyptian slavery, 400 years, you would not talk about stain and shame and identity. They were slaves. That is all they knew. There were so stained there was no hope in life until God decides he wants to set them free. And so, he tells the Israelites take a lamb with no fault, spotless, blameless, pure. Kill the lamb, take the blood put it on the doorposts, represent the cross of Jesus in the moment they are set free. And all the Israelites they leave after 400 years of slavery and they walk and they get to the edge of the Red Sea, and all of a sudden they realized our identity has changed, but they were still thinking like an Egyptian.

Their identity was changed. They were free. They had been released, but they were still thinking like a slave. They were still thinking like they had shame. They did not know how to think as free people yet. And all of a sudden, the Egyptian army decides they want their slaves back. So, they start encroaching into take the people and they cry out to God, and God says, “I am going to part the waters of the Red Sea, you walk through the waters of the Red Sea and on the other side you will be able to experience the freedom that I have already given you.” And they had a choice. We are going to trust God and walk through the waters to represent baptism or we are going to stay here and fight the Egyptians. Fight our past that God has already defeated for us and allow our shame to overtake us, allow our stain to continue to define us and they decided we are going across and then went through the waters, got on the other side. They are past, the Egyptians, their stain chases them into the water. God brings the Red Sea back. They all die and the people are over here, and they finally get to live in the freedom that God had already given them.

That is what will happen to some of you when you go in the water. You see baptism is always this in the Bible. It is always after salvation, full immersion, and immediate response, every time in the Bible. It is always after salvation. It is why, we do not baptize babies because it is your choice. You got to make the decision to say, I am going across those waters, because I believe that he has set me free and he has cleansed me. It is always by full immersion. It is not a sprinkle in the Bible, is always full immersion. Because it is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Scarlet robe has gone. Robe of righteousness has come.

And it is always an immediate response. It is not, well man, grandma is not in town that weekend and so I cannot do it because you got a big picture of me, you know.

Got nothing to do with grandma. Got nothing to do with grandma.

Got everything to do with you being obedient to Jesus and expressing your faith and your community of faith before the Lord. It is your next step, I have never met one person who is ever regretted getting baptized. In three weeks, we are having baptisms. Both campuses, you need to get baptized. If that is you sign up. I promise you, you will not regret it. Your shame gets left in the water man. It is awesome. And then the last thing is take it to Jesus. If you feel like you cannot get past your shame take it to Jesus. The last place we go is the first place we should run. Think of a woman caught in adultery, right. Red handed. She is caught in adultery. The Pharisees grab her. She is literally naked, and they grab her and they throw her on the ground in front of Jesus and they pick up stones and they say Jesus, the law of Moses says we should stone this woman, what do you say Jesus? And if you would have paused that moment and you would ask the woman, would you rather take your chances with Jesus or with these men. I betcha, she would have picked the men who are holding stones, why? Because we take our chances with men instead of Jesus.

And Jesus says to them you who are without the sin throw the first stone. They all dropped their stones. They walk away. Jesus, the only one who had the right to throw a stone, is the only one who does not pick one up. And he reaches down to the woman and he picks her up. He says, is there no one to condemn you. She says no one sir, neither do I condemn you. Go, leave your life of sin and be free. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is no shame that he gives her, and in that moment we learned from Jesus that he cannot shame you for the shame he has already carried.

He cannot shame you for the shame he has already carried, and he wore the scarlet robe. Every stain in your life was put on that scarlet robe. He cannot shame you for it anymore, because he already carried it.

Hebrews 8:12 says, I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more. In other words, the sins you cannot seem to forget are the ones God cannot seem to remember.

The ones you cannot forget, he cannot remember. Psalm 103 as far as the east is from the west, so far have I removed their transgressions or their shame from them. Shame does not exist in the presence of Jesus. You come to Jesus and say Jesus I am so embarrassed about the stain, about this thing of my past, about what happened to me or what I did, you come and you bring it to Jesus and all of a sudden he will tell you that, that was on the scarlet robe, and he does not remember it anymore. And it is for freedom. The Christ has set us free. If the sun has set you free, you are free indeed. He took the scarlet robe that you have the robe of righteousness, and you know you believe it is finished, when you stop hanging your head, moping around, and you start walking with, with this excitement in your life saying, the story of grace is what Jesus did in my life, I am free and forgiven, and my past no longer has authority over my future because of what Jesus did. It’s finished. It’s finished.

So, you close your eyes. Let me ask you to do something, maybe a little bit weird. I want you to think about the stains in your life for a moment. Think about the things that you are ashamed of, embarrassed of, maybe it is the stuff no one knows or it is the thing you have spent years trying to cover. I want you think of that stain. I do not want you to picture that stain. And I want to see you, I want you to see it be put on the scarlet robe. However awful, however painful, see it smeared on the scarlet rope. And I want you to see Jesus picking up that scarlet robe willingly and putting it on himself and looking at you with his look of love and compassion saying, I am taking your shame that you might have my worth. And all I want you to do is believe it.

And now I want you to look at yourself for a moment in your mind and I want you to see that, that fig leaf that you have been using to cover up that stain. Maybe it is a pretence of religion or the way you got to, you got to look a certain way all the time or you got to earn something or perform or achieve or whatever it is, I want you to see whatever it is that you have been using the cover up that stain. And in your mind see yourself taking that fig leaf down and looking at yourself, it is pure, blameless, spotless, and blemish-free because there was no fault in him, there is now no fault in you when you believe on the Lord Jesus. He took your scarlet robe that you might have his robe of righteousness.

It is finished church. No more self-righteousness, no more achieving, no more fig leaves, no more covering, no more hiding. Free, uncovered, redeemed, renewed, made clean, pure, righteous, the cleansing river of Jesus, overtakes us and washes us again and again and again, and it washes us so fast that no stain can ever stick to you, because it was upon him.

May you receive that and believe that, and make some kind of healing be released into your life as you finally step back to believe that Jesus did what he said he did, and he is who he says he is. So, Jesus we love you in this place.

Thank You that you finished it that we could live free. Would you continue to sink that deep into our hearts, give us the faith to believe. Where our faith doubts, would you encourage it? Would you strengthen it? And maybe we fix our eyes on you. The author and perfecter of our faith. Jesus I am believing that today a whole lot of shame has been set free. A whole lot of shame has been washed away, because you already carried it. And we have been spending a lifetime covering up a stain that has already been cleansed. May we live in freedom today Jesus.

Some of you need to come and you need somebody to pray for you, come pray with these people, come maybe this is somebody, you do not have a godly relationship come tell one of them. They will just look you in the face. This is all they are going to do. They are going to look you in the face and say, you are free and forgiven. Go in peace. That is it. Some of you need that, you need that person, come let them pray for you, let them do that. For those of you that want to keep giving tithes and your offerings, we have boxes at all the doors as a way of worship and honor, celebration of who Jesus is. For those of you who are new to ValleyCreek church, I would love to invite you to guest central right out of these doors. We would love to introduce ourselves to you, but I pray you go with the freedom of Jesus that you do not have to cover anymore because he became covered for you. I love you. Blessings.

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