Jesus, refuge of the weary
Blest Redeemer, whom we love,
Fountain in life’s desert dreary,
Savior from the world above:
Often have Your eyes, offended,
Gazed upon the sinner’s fall;
Yet upon the cross extended,
You have borne the pain of all.
(LSB 423 st.1)
“Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
Have you ever had to carry a burden for another? Maybe a close family member had an illness or some disability, and you found yourself struggling to care for their needs on top of your own. Maybe a loved one confided in you a personal struggle they were having, and you felt the weight of that problem pressing down on you as your heart went out to them and you offered them encouraging words and lifted them in prayer. As believers in Christ, we are called to carry the burdens of one another. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). In so doing, God uses us as His instruments of love and mercy to help others in their earthly afflictions.
Christ knew what it was to bear the burdens of others. But He did not stop at bearing the pain of illness or personal struggles–He bore the weight of our every sin. He was pierced for us…crushed for our iniquities. When we bear another’s suffering, we’ve given them temporary relief. But when Christ bore the pain of all on the cross, He won for us eternal relief. He defeated sin, death, and the devil and He won us peace with our heavenly Father. He is our Blest Redeemer, and we owe to Him our deepest gratitude and love for all He has done and continues to do for us.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, we owe You everything for bearing our sins on the cross and for taking the punishment that we so justly deserved. In this Lenten season, let us daily remember Your finished work that we may strive to live in a way that honors and glorifies Your holy name, now and forever. Amen.
(Daniel Harrington, Sem II)