There is a burden that a person is born with. That burden is realized at a certain age. That burden’s load is added to over the years where it becomes heavier. Now some seek to relieve themselves of this burden in various ways. Some choose to ignore it, drown its cumbersome dread in the sweet vices of this world. Yet the wine and women can only mask the symptoms of the increasing load. Others seek relief by traveling, as Bunyan describes in Pilgrim’s Progress, to the town of morality. There in morality many seek to remove the burden by good works, civility, and legality. Surely good works will dissolve this burden, surely law keeping will ease the load. They soon find out that good works only add to the misery of the burden. The Law makes the weight of one’s burden magnified a 1000 times.
Still others will seek ease by running, forgetting about the burden. They run to and fro immersing themselves in cares, errands, jobs, children, husbands and wives. All in an attempt to unload the very real weight. In the silence, the burden is there, never going away. Others will run from the burden by denying it. It is imaginary. A result of childhood trauma. A mind manifestation because of environmental causes.
And there are those that will face the burden. They dissect it, uncovering its anatomy. Yearning to be relieved from its terrible weight. Are you now wondering what this burden is? Do you feel your own burden? Come, let me tell you what our burden is.
The burden is simply the very real guilt and dread of our ever increasing sin against God. Sin that increases and therefore heaps to itself the wrath of a holy God. How terrible and inescapable is the weight of this burden. How I would fly from mine, but there is nowhere to hide. This burden has caused men to become insane.
Allow me to be the evangelist, the proclaimer of good news.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ.
Since it is God who takes vengeance upon us because of our burden, it is God we need peace with. The sacred writer tells us here what extracts the guilt, removes the burden forever. Being justified by faith. This is through Jesus Christ.
How precious are the feet that bring good tidings, how beautiful they are in proclaiming good news on the mountains. Isaiah 52:7. There is peace with God, there is a place where burdens are rolled away. It is at the cross of Christ. There, he paid the penalty, absorbed the wrath of God for our burden. Only there can God deal kindly. Only there can peace be found with God. It is at the cross the wrathful face of God melts into a smile of comfort for prodigals.
The justification that is sought is by faith. Justification with God is not obtained through good works or law keeping. In fact, good works done, in an attempt to be justified before God, will only add to the burden. They are damnable before God. Only the work of Christ is accepted. Here again the proclamation: “we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ.”
Faith completely trusts and rests in the work of Christ, making His work ours. Faith applies the blood of Jesus. Faith believes God and the heavy burden is released. Forever the eyes of faith looks to the hill of Calvary, to the bleeding Son of God and there finds peace with God. The burden rolls down the hill.
Notice again the words of Bunyan when his main character, Christian, loses his burden:
“He ran thus till he came to a place somewhat acending, and upon that place stood a cross, and a little below, in the bottom a sepulcher. So I saw in my dream that just as Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.”