The Burden Bearer

"Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighted him down." Isaiah 53:4 NLT

For the first 18 years of my life, my parents assisted me with burdens. From teaching me responsibility to getting me jobs to tending to my basic needs, they helped me carry the burdens that come with growing up. Since then, there have been other occasions when they helped me bear unwanted burdens: when I lost a job, when a relationship failed, when a child rebelled, when my only car broke down.

Others have also helped me carry burdens. Church members who've come to my side when death took a loved one, grandparents who helped me purchase tires for a vehicle, a child who forked over hard earned money to help me pay a bill, total strangers who helped me free my truck from a snow drift, and a spouse who helps me bear every burden that surfaces.

The ancient prophet told of how the coming Messiah would help bear burdens. He would not blow in on a white horse and conquer Israel's enemies. Rather, He would bear burdens the first time and conquer at His Second Coming.

The greatest burden Jesus Christ helps carry is sin. Since I'm born with a sinful nature, I need a burden bearer. On the cross, Jesus bore the sins of humanity. Though paid for in full, the results of what He accomplished are only effective when I ask for what He did to be applied to my personal life. Forgiveness doesn't automatically happen.

When I ask Jesus to carry my sin burden, it is not only carried but removed and thrown as far as the East is from the West as well as shoved into the uttermost depths of the ocean. In other words, He eliminates the penalty for this burden: eternity apart from Him.

Unfortunately, life also has other burdens that result not from my personal sin but from living in a world tainted by sin. These burdens I need help bearing also. While others help me shoulder these burdens, only God can do it consistently and permanently. Others will disappoint me-not necessarily intentionally but simply because they are human.

Though the help of others is wonderful and needed, the help 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?

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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