John 19:17 NKJV
“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha,”
Have you ever filled a backpack and took a long hike along a trail or through the mountains? How about carrying a box of books or supplies up from a storeroom or even just moving them to a new destination? Maybe you finally make it home from the store and now you have to lug overloaded bags up three flights of stairs?
The examples of the physical trials that we may face every day could be endless and vary from person to person. The need to move or carry things is built into almost everything we have to do. Some of us may even have a job that requires some sort of physical labor where we could get so worn down by the end of the day.
Even if we look past the physical aspects of life, there is so much more that can happen that adds mental exhaustion to the total. With each new task we face the cumulative effect which can soon become overwhelming. One thing we don’t really consider is that each person handles these pressures differently.
I know that I have frequently forgotten this over the years. Rather than being encouraging or helpful I blurt out a comment that hurts or angers. Many times, I could have asked if they were okay, but I was too caught up in what I was doing. I also have a bad habit of trying to make a funny comment that is more sarcastic than humorous.
Life is tough enough and too often we add to our own misery. One more event to attend, one more chore to take care of, even that one more worry we take upon ourselves. With each item, we are adding more to the burden we are carrying through life until we collapse under the weight.
It does not matter how strong of a support system we have in our lives, we all need to include the Lord as we seek relief. Matthew 11:28-30 is a good place to begin, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The Lord is inviting us to trust Him with everything we are going through. That pressure to keep going, the worries the have us lying awake at night, and even every temptation that we may face throughout our day. We all know that this is a very difficult thing to do, because it’s just as easy to hang onto our discomfort as it is to let it go.
Some of us may have a great support system in our life. Family or friends that are there to talk to, get advice from, or even provide the comfort we seek. This can also make it difficult for us to look to the Lord. Others of us may walk around confident that we can face any challenge. Either way, after a while we might feel that we can do it ourselves and we no longer need help.
This is up to the point where that support or confidence is not there when we get hit with the next avalanche of life. While we lay there buried with no help in sight, it’s easy to forget that the Lord is there with us. He never leaves our side no matter what is happening. Like Joseph when he faced the many rock slides in his life, God was there to see him through.
It is said that David was surrounded by enemies when he wrote Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” He didn’t cast his troubles onto his family or friends, he cast them onto God. David did this frequently and even when it seemed he was detoured by numerous temptations and sinful urges, he always proclaimed his faith and God was there.
We cannot forget that Jesus took this a step further and was crucified for all the sins of mankind. We often want to let everything weigh on us like the cross that Jesus carried. This is where we get it wrong. Jesus carried that weight, so we don’t have to. He took all of our guilt, all of our pain, and everything else upon himself to be that final sacrifice to bring us back to God.
If you do a general search as to how far Jesus actually carried His cross, you will get a variety of answers from a few yards, to about one third of a mile, or to what could have been closer to a mile. During that search you will also find the debate on if He carried a 300-pound solid wood cross or just the cross bar that was around 80 pounds.
Debating the distance or what was actually carried takes away from the event itself. Christ was tried and found to be not guilty, but was still crucified. He predicted this and so much more in Mark 9:31, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”
Our sinless Lord was indeed killed and laid in a tomb, but He also rose again on the third day. He was the final sacrifice for the sins that separated man from God. He was and is our Savior, our Redeemer, and our Reconciler. And all He asks is that we confess our sins and believe in our hearts to be forgiven.
We must ask ourselves how much weight we are carrying that we don’t have to. The Lord has removed our burden of sin through His sacrifice. Drop your cross, join me in praising His name, and thank Him for all that He has done for us. Now go to your friends and neighbors and tell them how to remove their burdens. You may have to help them carry their cross until they do.
RISEN UP WITH ME
These days it always seems there is a heavy burden that I carry,
Getting another weight added or hit with a blow I could not parry.
Then things get worse as I am pulled out to deeper water,
As I search for some relief it feels like it is getting hotter.
Lord, I find myself so overwhelmed as the next burden is added,
It is hard to keep moving forward when I am feeling so stranded.
My child, you need to pause to take a breath and fix your eyes above,
Remember all that was done for you through your Father’s love.
On that day I was convicted for crimes I did not commit,
And to a sentence of crucifixion, I did submit.
Carrying all of mankind’s sins on my back with the cross,
With that dark day ending with such pain and loss.
Though heart wrenching tears were shed as I laid in the tomb alone,
Soon hope and joy would erupt as I did from behind that stone.
So, anything still weighing you down was with Me on that tree,
And the relief you have been seeking has Risen Up With Me.
Simple Faith Christian