Jesus takes our shame on Him
Text: John 2: 1-12
Focus: John 2: 6 & 7
Here we are dealing with a young man on his wedding day. Right in the middle of the memorable event, something happens that can bring him great shame: The wine runs out!
The reason it could disgrace the groom is because in his culture it would mean that he couldn’t follow the rules of hospitality. It would not only bring him great shame, but the bride's guests could also charge him and claim compensation for the harm done to them.
We know very well what it feels like to be embarrassed. When you don’t have enough money to pay for your girlfriend’s meal. When you make a mistake at work while you should actually know what you are doing. To sin and you are caught out.
This kind of humiliation often not only gives your ego a bruising but could also mean the end of a relationship or career.
We often experience something similar in our spiritual life.
The harder we try, the more humiliated we become. If we are honest with ourselves, we will realise that we are falling far short. We stand embarrassed before God. We deserve to be rejected forever.
But, before we go on, it is important to see what Jesus is doing. He orders the servants to fill six stone jugs, which could hold between ninety and a hundred litres each. The water in the jugs was usually used for cleaning rituals. Symbolically, people cleanse themselves with water as a sign that their sins have been washed away.
Now Jesus turns the water in the stone jugs into wine.
Here are two important things we need to notice. In the first place, the master of ceremonies is so impressed with this new wine that he says to the bridegroom: “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now” (vs. 10).
In other words, the cleansing that Jesus offers is of a better quality than anything we have on this earth. His blood was shed so that our shame could be washed away forever. Our salvation is sweet! This is the best news ever!
In the second place there is the abundance that Jesus provides. He doesn’t just make wine from one jug. He orders the servants to fill all six jugs with water and then he makes wine from all the water.
This shows the abundance we receive from salvation. We should be condemned forever, but God sent His only begotten Son to die for us all. He is condemned so that we can be exonerated. He forgives all our many sins!
This grace that is so sweet and abundant must change our lives. We must also love and forgive and obey with the same abundance.
That is why this miracle at the wedding in Cana gives us great comfort. Just as the bridegroom was saved from great humiliation, so Jesus also saved us from humiliation and rejection.
Our salvation in Christ is sweet and abundant! Rejoice in it every day.