“In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.”
Elizabeth had lived with the emptiness and social embarrassment of not being able to bear a child. Despite her sincere pleas to God, it may have seemed that her prayers were unheard. As a result, she felt disgraced in her society.
What do we do with a feeling of disgrace or shame that is undeserved? Elizabeth felt disgraced in spite of the fact that she and her husband were “righteous in the sight of God” (Luke 1:6). It is hard enough to suffer when we are guilty, but there is an extra intensity to suffering when we could not have acted differently.
Of course, if we have behaved badly, it’s appropriate to have a sense of guilt and to accept the consequences of our actions. Then, in Christ, we can be forgiven. The good news of Jesus promises that if we are guilty, we can turn to God, confess our sins, and be confident that he will forgive.
Jesus came to undo all the damages of sin, whether they are deserved or not. In the case of Elizabeth, the damage of undeserved shame was lifted from her. She would now be blessed with a son who would pave the way for the Messiah!
Jesus came to set things right. In Christ, God forgives the sins we have committed, and he lifts the damage that sin has caused not only to people who have been hurt in spite of their innocence but even to those who deserve it. Thanks be to God!
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to undo the damages that sin has done in this world. Thank you for this beautiful story of healing and grace. Amen.
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