WEIGHT…can be measured, in pounds or kilograms. Every morning I check my weight on the scales. Politicians may lie, but scales don’t. The more weight a person carries, the more strain it puts on the heart as well as hips, knees and ankles. One pound of weight loss results in 4-lbs. less of knee joint load or pressure. You do the math.
There are so many idioms from the word; like
- ‘he is dead weight,
- carry your own weight,
- take some weight off your feet,
- that’s a weight off my shoulders,
- pull your own weight,
- throw your weight around,
- or he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.’
There are many more. That last one came to mind this past Saturday evening between Good Friday and Easter morning. As I was reflecting on Jesus and his travail on the cross, it became clear just what was placed on him.
The Son of God who never sinned, suddenly was being weighed down by yours and mine, and all of creation. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2 Cor. 5:21a). Sin is a burden, a heavy weight, and then for us to pile on him all of ours, it must have been unbearable. I remember the weight of my sins being lifted from me the night I surrendered to Christ. When I stood up, I felt as light as a feather. Mine had been transferred to him.
Imagine this. The sinless Savior was asked to take on the sins, iniquities and transgressions that he had never committed. It is one thing to carry around the guilt and burden of your own sinfulness, but when it is not your own, what that must have been like. So he experienced your pride, ego, anger, judgmentalness, abuse, lust, theft, lies, ungratefulness, abuse, pornographic images, murder—these are all mine and more. Name yours, and yours, and yours…you get the picture. He became our ‘dumping ground’!
At the gym I see guys and gals loading up their barbells with more and more weights, each one causing a greater and greater burden to lift. There comes a point when they just can’t handle one more pound.
But Jesus took on ‘all’! It was crushing. His Father turned away—no one there but him! No trainer to spot him. No one to lighten the weight! “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 535a). Wounded and bruised…that just does not seem to carry the weight of what he was enduring. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning” (Psa. 22:1). The psalmist understood his own travail, thus prophesying of Jesus’ suffering on the cross hundreds of years later. And as Jesus spoke the first words of this Psalm from the cross, he was fulfilling the prophecy while carrying more sinful weight than anyone should be asked to carry.
But he did! Why? It’s found in the last part of the verses we just read
“that we might become the the righteousness of God in Him” (I Cor. 5:21b); and “the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5b). What an exchange; what a Savior!!! Righteousness, peace with God and healing of our souls! That’s why he obediently, humbly carried the weight of our sins on himself, all “to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11).
Every trainer or coach continually challenges athletes to lift just one more pound or run one more sprint because they know the eventual results. Our Lord knew the results, so he listened, obeyed and lifted one more sin, went that one more mile until it was done, saying–“It is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (Jn. 19:30b).
If that were the end of the story, it might be sad, but we all know that yours and my sins were banished, the weight of them lifted from him in death, and Jesus rose to give us his new life…abundant and eternal. Whew, what an incredible weight off your shoulders! Now you are able to fulfill your calling.
“Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1).
|See you at the finish line.
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture taken from the NKJV