He Carried Our Burden
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
It’s not unusual for utility bills to be surprisingly high. But Kieran Healy of North Carolina received a water bill that would make your heart stop. The notification said that he owed 100 million dollars! Confident he hadn’t used that much water the previous month, Healy jokingly asked if he could pay the bill in installments.
Owing a 100-million-dollar debt would be an overwhelming burden, but that pales in comparison to the real—and immeasurable—burden sin causes us to carry. Attempting to carry the burden and consequences of our own sins ultimately leaves us feeling tired and riddled with guilt and shame. The truth is we are incapable of carrying this load.
And we were never meant to. As Peter reminded believers, only Jesus, the sinless Son of God, could carry the heavy burden of our sin and its weighty consequences (1 Peter 2:24). In His death on the cross, Jesus took all our wrongdoing on Himself and offered us His forgiveness. Because He carried our burden, we don’t have to suffer the punishment we deserve.
Instead of living in fear or guilt, the “empty way of life handed down to” us (1:18), we can enjoy a new life of love and freedom (vv. 22–23).
Lord, sometimes our guilt and shame can feel so heavy. Help us to release our past and its pain to You and experience Your peace, knowing You have carried it all and have set us free.
Our natural instinct is to lash out against injustice. But Jesus’s example (which is what Peter called it in 1 Peter 2:21) calls us to higher ground. Notice verse 23: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” Rather than returning what, arguably, His tormenters deserved, Jesus refused. In a sense, He chose to look up to the Father rather than down to those who caused His pain. Perhaps that was behind His prayer, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). In entrusting Himself to the Father, Jesus felt no need for retaliation.
For more on the cross, read The Mockery and Majesty of the Cross at discoveryseries.org/hp081.