Trading Your Shame for His Righteousness

Beautiful God
Laying Your majesty aside
You reached out in love to show me life
Lifted from darkness into light
King for a slave
Trading Your righteousness for shame

These are the opening words of the song, Like An Avalanche by Hillsong United. I am especially touched by the last phrase: Trading Your righteousness for shame. I remember when God first began opening my understanding to the truths of His righteousness and I would weep at the mere thought of Jesus taking my shame.

I hated the feeling of my condemnation and wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy –much less my beloved Savior. YET… this is what He did. [Tweet “He traded something of His for something of ours. #hisrighteousness #ourshame”]

If you’ve read my book, Facing the Mirror, you know that I stood my son in front of his mirror when he was nine years old and asked him what he thought about that little boy looking back at him. Even at such a young age, shame had already begun to attack his sweet heart. He said, “I hate him. He’s ugly.” And just as God did with me, I shared the Truth with Benjamin in front of his mirror about the love God had for the boy looking back at him and he has never forgotten it.

Just recently I learned that my son, who is now our Youth Pastor, sat in his car one night with a young man who was struggling with self-hate. He pulled down the visor and had him look into the mirror. And like passing a baton, he shared with this young man the same Truths he had learned.

And then in an amazing chain of events, this same young man was at a church camp with my son and the two of them got to stand with another youth in front of a bathroom mirror and tell him all the Truths about his righteousness in Christ.

One by one, over centuries and decades, God has been revealing to people everywhere what Jesus did for them. “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). 

He traded His righteousness for shame.

And if we stopped there, we might forget one more Truth:

We traded our shame for His righteousness.

“Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names” (Philippians 2:9).

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1).

However you learned it, don’t forget it. Jesus traded something valuable for you. He believes you were worth it. So I pray you will accept the truth of who you are in Him and live fully from that knowledge today and everyday!

[Tweet “He traded His righteousness for shame. We traded our shame for His righteousness.”]

7 thoughts on “Trading Your Shame for His Righteousness

  1. “It (His righteousness) will be counted to us who believe in Him (Father God) who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” I had to read and re-read this to get a full understanding that our sins condemned Jesus to death on the cross but His righteousness (the perfect sacrifice) is what allowed His resurrection. Which then resulted in our justification (just as if we had never sinned). We had no part in any of it except to believe.

  2. Dear Daphne,

    I agree that we trade our shame for His righteousness. But please show me one Scripture that supports Christ ever giving up even on nanosecond of His Righteousness? His righteousness is Eternal. Therefore, Hillsong lyric phrase if fatally and Biblical flawed.

    • Hi James 🙂 thanks for sharing. I’m not sure I completely understand the question, but if you’re referring to Jesus “losing” His righteousness, that’s not what I meant. Although, the Bible says God was unable to look on Him for 3 days while He carried our sin to hell so one could assume during that time Jesus was 100% sin on our behalf. But the best scripture I could give you is the one written in the blog from 2 Corinthians 5:21. The Amplified Bible says, “For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Hime we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be , approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].” I think that says it well, although my mind is still boggled at the thought of it 🙂
      I can also recommend my book, “Facing the Mirror” as a study tool on the subject of righteousness. You can find it on my Shop tab. I hope this helps. God bless!

      • Hi Daphne,

        Thank you for your very thoughtful response. 2 Cor 5:21 is an excellent Scripture to address this very question. In fact, it is the perfect Scripture to refute that idea that Christ traded his righteousness for shame. I can see how one might get the impression from that passage that Christ became sin, therefore surrendered his righteousness. But context and the true meaning of that passage is that Christ became the sin offering, not sin itself. Even the very next phrase confirms that Christ was without sin. In no way could Christ contain any sin whatsoever, because the sin offering had to be without spot or blemish, i.e., it had to be a perfect sacrifice. If Christ had become sin, it would no longer remain an acceptable offering and would be emptied of its power to cleanse us of unrighteousness. If Houston’s lyrics are correct, then you would have to render this passage as Christ traded righteousness for unrighteousness, which is, of course, impossible. In addition, shame and righteousness are not even equivalent antonyms, and by what or whose authority is this trade even made? Finally, the text of “Like an Avalanche”, is Hillsong song. Are you aware of Hillsong’s leader Brian Houston’s teachings?Are you aware of these revelations? Concerning his teachings please be alerted to:

        Brannon Howse: Aired February 13, 2014 | Worldview ……/brannon-howse-aired-february-13-201...

        Feb 13, 2014 – Australian Cameron Buettel joins Brannon to explain the theological problems with Australian Pastor Brian Houston who is pastor of Hillsong …

        Hillsong Pastor Brian Houston’s Continual Abuse Of Scripture…/hillsong-pastor-brian-houstons-continu...

        Feb 17, 2014 – Brian Houston, senior pastor of Hillsong Church in Australia (and it’s rapidly expanding global empire) has just visited Saddleback Church in …

        Is There No Repentance In The Gospel Of John ……/there-no-repentance-gospel-john

        Mar 17, 2014 – Hillsong have been guilty of this for years – they are even guilty according to their own doctrine statement. Brian Houston avoids the subject like the plague and is even willing to change ….. Brannon Howse 5-Book Collection …

        Brian Houston is also a collaborator with Rick Warren, whom I exposed in two books, published by Southwest Radio Church and our website:


        James Sundquist

        • Forgive me James, I wasn’t entirely clear. Jesus didn’t “lose” His righteousness. A better phrase was “traded” (the point of this particular blog post). In other words, if we could envision righteousness like a garment, Jesus traded His garment for ours. He Himself didn’t lose His right-standing with God (as His Son or as the Righteousness of God). But He willingly “traded” garments with us– allowing us to receive and wear His righteousness while He willingly “wore” our sin on Himself and nailed it to the cross, therefore paying the penalty for our sins (Hebrews 9:15, Romans 3:24).

          So to clarify, Jesus did not “trade in” or “lose” His righteousness, but He did make an exchange on our behalf so He could carry our sins to the cross. And as you said, that was the most righteous and beautiful act anyone has ever done for us.

          Thanks for sharing!

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