TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Hebrews 12:1-3

Viktor Frankl was a successful Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist in the early to mid 20th century. His work spanned from counseling high school students free of charge, to creating a suicide prevention program helping over 30,000 women with suicidal tendencies, to eventually heading the neurological division at the Rothschild Hospital in Vienna. He was successful. He was also a Jew living in the time of Nazi oppression. In 1942, Viktor, his wife, and parents were taken to a Nazi ghetto. He would later spend time in various concentration camps, including Auschwitz, until 1945. In his bestselling book Man’s Search for Meaning, he tells about the deplorable conditions, and how dignity and decency were stripped from each victim. Everyone was affected whether they had been successful in the previous life or not. Shame was at an all-time high. After analyzing his experiences, Frankl suggests a profound truth: “Suffering ceases to be suffering in some way at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of sacrifice.”

In Hebrews 12 we read that Jesus despised the shame of the cross. The physical nakedness, the isolation in the midst of the crowds, and the judgment from our sins on His shoulders must have been excruciating. He was shamed. Jesus could endure all of the forerunners that create shame (abuse, trauma, isolation, abandonment, sin) because His suffering had found meaning. The “joy that was set before Him” was the engine pushing Him through pain.

Today, I will…read Hebrews 4:14-16. I will meditate on the fact that Jesus’s shame can become my strength.