by Brodie Swisher
I recall a hunt from a few years back when, shortly up the trail, a “friend” of mine began to realize that he was unable to carry the load he had crammed into his backpack. We’ve all been there before. With fear and uncertainty of the trail ahead, we pack ungodly loads that we sooner or later realize we can’t handle on our backs. My buddy quickly acknowledged that he couldn’t do it on his own. I flashed a bitter smile knowing what this meant. Either he would have to shuck the gear from his pack and leave it along the trail, or I would have to carry the weight for him. The uncompassionate side of me wanted to tell him to suck it up and get to climbing the mountain. However, the other side of me knew that he needed me now more than ever. So I took his water bottle, his binoculars, and other weighty items, and added them to the load in my pack. I’ll never forget when we finally reached the top and began to setup camp, he said, “I could never repay you for carrying my stuff.” Weary and worn I remember saying, “Man, you don’t owe me a thing!”
I can’t help but think about this hunt every time the Easter season rolls around again. I think about the contrast of Christ carrying the weight of all mankind on his shoulders when he died on the cross compared to the simple burden I carried for one man. I grudgingly carried the load for that fella that had more than he could handle on his back. I didn’t want to do it, and I probably mumbled ugly things most of the way up the mountain. I bad-mouthed this guy for being unprepared and inadequate for the journey. Christ said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Isaiah 53:4-6 says, “Yet it was our weakness He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins. But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.”
Did you catch that? The Lord laid on Him (Jesus) the sins of us all. There’s no words to even begin to describe how huge that is! The sins of every person that ever stepped foot on this earth was upon Jesus. He carried the load for us on that cross.
But not only did He carry it, He also canceled it.
“You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14
Jesus carried the load for us on the cross. He paid a debt we could never pay. He paid the price with His life.