O LORD God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame; Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
With yesterday’s Collect Prayer speaking of Christ’s suffering, the Collect for today goes into detail about how Jesus suffered. Our Lord was smitten upon the back for our sakes. He suffered these humiliating punishments for us. Such public displays of punishments were meant to shame the person being punished. Jesus as we prayed “gave his back” and He “hid not his face from shame.” Often in life, we have difficulties with leadership due to the point that they are not really serving the people they are supposed to serve. At every turn, they seek to hid their sins or to deflect to the point we forget about their flaws. The world, the flesh, and the devil seek at every turn to find every way possible to get out of trouble by avoiding it or to hoist false blame on others so that they take the punishment. Such approaches seek to shame others rather than to simply repent and ask for forgiveness. Our Lord Jesus Christ died for all our propensities in avoiding responsibility, in avoiding shame. His back carried our guilt fully and perfectly, making our status now one of redeemed and the children of God.
Does this all mean that we will not suffer or be shamed on this side of eternity? No, it means that through Christ, He grants us the grace to “take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed.” We are not called to suffer and to bear shame by a leader that is not willing to do so himself. No, He gave His life, His back, and endured the shame we deserved to establish His Kingdom as our Servant King forever. Our suffering for His sake is possible by His grace. They are actions of love in reply to God’s love for us. Our joy is not measured by temporal things, but by the love of Jesus Christ for us in His suffering and shame on our behalf.