Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O God Our Help In Ages Past"1 (Lyrics)
Isaiah 53:4a – Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. (NLT)
My parents assisted me with burdens for the first eighteen years of my life.
From tending to my basic needs to teaching me responsibility and getting me jobs, they helped me to carry the burdens that accompany growing up. Since then, there have been other occasions when they helped me to bear unwanted burdens: when I lost a job, when a relationship failed, when a child rebelled, or when my only car broke down.
Others have also helped me to carry burdens. Church members who've come to my side when death took a loved one, grandparents who helped me to purchase tires for a vehicle, a child who forked over hard-earned money to help me pay a bill, total strangers who helped me to free my truck from a snow drift, and a spouse who helps me to bear every burden that surfaces.
In today's verse, the ancient prophet told of how the coming Messiah would be a burden bearer. He would not blow in on a white horse and conquer Israel's enemies. Instead, He would bear burdens at His first coming and conquer at His second coming.
The greatest burden that Jesus Christ helps us to carry is sin. Since we're born with a sinful nature, we need a burden bearer. On the cross, Jesus took the sins of humanity. Though paid for in full, the results of what He accomplished are effective only when we ask Him to apply them to our personal lives. Forgiveness doesn't happen automatically.
When we ask Jesus to carry our sin burden, He not only carries it but also removes it and throws it as far as the east is from the west — and shoves it into the uttermost depths of the ocean. In other words, He eliminates the ultimate penalty for this burden: eternity apart from Him.
Unfortunately, life also has other burdens resulting from our sins and from living in a world tainted by sin. These burdens we need help bearing also. While others help us to shoulder these burdens, only God can do it consistently and permanently. Others will disappoint us — not necessarily intentionally, but simply because they are human.
Although the help of others is wonderful and needed, the service of an all-powerful and all-knowing God is crucial. He is the burden bearer Who will never leave or forsake us.
Are you letting Christ bear your burdens?
Prayer: Father, thank You that there is no burden so significant that You can't bear for us. Amen.