You have heard of the Hall of Fame. Pro football's Hall of Fame is in Canton, Ohio only a few hours from where we live. The Hall of Fame is a place where the greatest players of all time are memorialized for their contributions to the pigskin game. Pro football greats such as Jim Brown, Mike Ditka, Brett Farve, Joe Montana, Joe Perry (not the guitarist of Aerosmith fame) and Johnny Unitas are just a few of the men inducted into that Hall of Fame. This is just one Hall of Fame. There are Halls of Fame for aviation and space, music, show business and theater, sports and all sorts of other odds and ends. We place a great deal of emphasis on achievement and accomplishment.
This week leads up to an event that is not remembered for its pomp and circumstance, but for its darkness and pain. If you have never visited the Hall of Shame, I hope you will continue reading, because this person and this place we all must visit and one day reckon with.
When you first enter the Hall of Shame you will notice that it is not pleasant. It is a dark place that leaves your skin feeling clammy. The first room we come to is small and poorly lit. Two oil lamps hang from posts that hold up the ceiling. It is not good quality oil and burns smokey. A low wooden table sits in the center of the room and around it, pillows and cushions showing some wear. This was His last supper with those He loved. They couldn't even have a nice meal together without fighting over who was to be the greatest.
Their shame was their pride.
From this upper room, we move out into a garden. It is dark here too, as it was night when this event began. He walked with his followers to this place and told them to pray. He agonized. They fell asleep.
Their shame was their flesh.
From out of this dark night come soldiers carrying torches. They came after Him like the villagers came after the Frankenstein monster. One of His own betrayed him with a kiss. Judas' kiss!
His shame was thirty pieces of silver and his own life.
The soldiers took the God-Man. The one, the Rock called Peter, said he would follow Him to the death.
His shame magnified three-fold when the rooster crowed.
Moving on in the Hall of Shame, we come to the council chamber of the Sanhedrin. "Are you the son of God, then?" "Yes, I am."
Their shame was their inability to put out the flame.
On to the hall of Pilate. This was a place of order. This man had soldiers at his command. He could pass sentence on the just and the unjust.
His shame was he wanted to pass the buck.
This next room is rich and ornate. It bears the flare of a man of power and wealth, Herod Antipas. He was tetrach of Galilee and Perea. Another man of power, but unwilling to make the hard choice. He sent Him back to Pilate.
His shame was that he treated the King of Kings with contempt.
Back to Pilate's hall. Pilate could find no fault in HIm. The Jews would not give up. They wanted Him crucified. Pilate gave them a choice and they didn't choose Jesus.
Their shame: He was their Messiah, but they chose Him not. "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
Now we walk to the place of the skull. Golgotha, the hill. The old rugged cross.
It was our shame that nailed Him there.
So you see it was not Jesus who created the Hall of Shame, it was us. It was because of our sin, our lust, our pride, our greed, our hatred of the truth, every wrong doing was a hit on the nails that pinned Him to the cross. We build the Hall of Shame with His blood.