Twin sisters, Claire and Chloe Gruenke, are accustomed to doing things together. Yet the actions of these 13-year-old girls at the recent southern Illinois state track meet reveal the depth of their love for one another.
The twins were both running in the 800 meter race when Chloe heard a pop in her thigh and fell to the track in pain. Claire saw what had happened and stopped to help her sister up. Then in a beautiful display of love and solidarity, Claire put her sister on her back and carried her 370 meters – almost a full lap around the track – to the finish line. The duo completed the race with a standing ovation from the crowd.
Similar to the sentiments of the 1969 hit song written by Bobby Scott and Bob Russell and made famous by the Hollies (“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”), Claire would say it was no burden for her to carry her sister. “It’s about showing compassion, love and sportsmanship,” Claire said. “Even if you lose and help somebody, it’s still worth it. The energy from the crowd made me stronger. They were saying I can’t believe you just did that.” *
Consider the words of Solomon…“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
You and I are like Chloe… we are the ones who have fallen onto the track beneath the weight of the burden of our sin. Because of our sin, we are disqualified and condemned.
But then Jesus came to our rescue. When we accept His offer of salvation, He becomes our burden-bearer, taking the burden of our sin upon Himself, which is exactly what He did for us when He died on the cross for our sins. “He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). Jesus FREES us from the burden of sin so that we can follow Him as we “run the Christian race.”
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Jesus will bear the burden of sin for those who will place their faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess His name before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse those who continue to follow Him as they walk – or “run” — in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).
Won’t YOU allow Jesus to bear the burden of your sins so that you can complete the race and share in His victory?