Burdens are lifted at Calvary
Jesus said: “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28 Many of us carry burdens… some have to carry heavier burdens than others. Some seem harassed and frustrated at every turn of life’s road. Some have little conception of the hidden burdens that others are carrying. Many a breaking heart is camouflaged by a smiling face. Often the deepest and the heaviest burdens that men and women carry are those not seen with the naked eye.
My Sermon today, entitled
“BURDENS ARE LIFTED AT CALVARY”
is about being set free from the things that can weigh you down, and hold you back.
In the first place then, let us consider
WHAT KIND OF BURDENS PEOPLE CARRY?
There are burdens that have to do with the home.
To most of us, our home life is sweet but this is not the case for everyone. In many homes there is poverty, sickness, sorrow, abuse and fighting. Many live in fear of their own homes, they are in no hurry to get home from work, for home is a place of pain, of pressure and of problems. There is the burden of wayward and disobedient children, or of a mother or father or husband or wife who have gone astray and manufactured for themselves and their loved ones a hellish environment and an unhappy state.
There are the burdens that have to do with work or business responsibilities. Customer pressure and suppliers problems are mounting and you have to manoeuvre a path between them.
Maybe where you work the people seem to be so wicked or evil?… so anti-God, so anti-Christ. What you hear all the day long is one filthy joke after another. Its hard to be a Christian where you work and you feel unable to cope and often unwilling to continue there.
There are burdens also in connection with the Lord’s work and Church life. The Apostle Paul said, “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Cor. 11:28). You may wonder how you are going to take care of all the financial obligations of your church, your business and your home? You wonder how to help all those wayward or backslidden folks. You may ask how you can win more people to Jesus when you yourself feel unequal to the task? Then what about the burden of criticism, and the burden of those who don’t like you or may mistrust you?
Then there are burdens that have to do with our friends.
Our enemies don’t need to wear a sign saying, “I am your enemy!” We know who they are. It wasn’t an enemy that hated David; (the Psalmist) it was a friend. (He writes)
“For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:
“But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. “We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” Ps. 55:12—14.
We don’t make very many intimate or close friends in a lifetime, so the ones we have, we had better treat right. I am told that in old age intimate friends are hard to come by. Yet being a close friend can often add to our burdens, in that we unwittingly and unwillingly become entangled in the problems of our friends.
Then there are physical burdens, the aches and pains of life.
Some have been sick for a long time. They wonder how much longer they can take it, they worry about the future, about long-term care and long term help, and long term finances.
These are also temperamental burdens, and sometimes they are the hardest to bear: fear, anxiety, worry, depression and even despair. Many have to work on these burdens all the time.
There is the burden of the loss of a loved one: husband, wife, child or parent. You don’t know how you’re going to make it through these dark times?
What about the burden of disappointment?
You didn’t get that new job, that new car, or that new house.
Girls are disappointed they didn’t get that special boyfriend. Most girls think they are standing at the Last Chance Station. Let the ugliest boy come by and wink at them, and they fall all over themselves: and young men, are no different and many go to pieces when they didn’t get her as girlfriend or wife. Thank God you didn’t, if she wasn’t the one God had chosen for you.
So you see life is simply full of burdens cares and anxieties, problems, pressures and pains, and I’ve only scratched the surface as I’m sure you’ll agree.
So then let us consider …
WHAT WE ARE TO DO WITH OUR BURDENS?
A long time ago, I came to understand that there is no relief from our burdens in complaining and self-pity. We are not to despair in the midst of our burden. Despair will not lift one burden. David (The Shepherd boy who became King) was in the depths of despair when he said: “My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me” (Ps. 55:4,5).
A desire to escape the burden will not help us either. David
pined, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and
remain in the wilderness” (Ps.55:6,7).
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever looked out of the window and watched the little birds and said, “Oh, if I could just wing like those little birds, I could fly away into the wilderness and get away from everybody and everything”?
There is one thing wrong with that: you don’t have wings. So you might as well face it. You cannot escape, and there is no relief from a burden by just wishing you could fly away from it.
So I say again… WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH OUR BURDENS?
In the Bible, we are told to do three things with our burdens: “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved”
Accept the burden from the Lord. The word burden literally means “that which he has given you,” or it can actually mean “gift”? Did you ever think of burdens as a trust from God?
as a gift from God? That trial, that disappointment, that loss –
is that God’s doing? YES IT IS, He has permitted it. He has trusted you with it for a very wise and loving purpose.
So FIRSTLY acknowledge it is from the Lord!
If something comes from the Devil, it only comes with the Lord’s full permission. He allowed it; therefore, accept it from His hands. The Devil cannot do anything to us unless he gets a permit. That should make you feel better, for a start!
Let me show you where that is found in the Bible, in
Job Chapter One. We read there …
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
“Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? “Hast thou not made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. “But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.
“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.” Job 1:8-12.
Job was a wealthy man. But he lost everything – all of his possessions and even his ten children.
It would be terrible day if someone came to your door and said,
“you have lost one of your children.” and a few days later you laid your own Childs coffin in the earth. Many have had that awful experience, and I deeply grieve for them in such loss,… it must be unbearable? But Job didn’t lose one, he lost all of his ten children, and all of his wealth in one grand swoop. Yet he said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”! I used to think “This is real worship, how on earth can a man give thanks and praise to God in such an event?” But here is the key: we read in Job 42:5,6.
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
No matter how much we have heard of God, our burdens make us see Him in a way that nothing else can.
In Psalm 55:19 David said, “God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.” How slack we get sometimes, and how easily we forget Him and lift up ourselves when things go smoothly and there are no changes, no problems.
Thank God for the changes and the problems because they help us to see ourselves and God in a better way.
Your burden (whatever it is) will you accept it from the Lord? Will you take it from His loving hand – as a way for you to
know Him better?
SECONDLY Let the Lord carry the burden for you.
Since the burden is too heavy for you, give it to the Lord to carry. The word “cast” (Ps 55:22) literally means “fling or hurl.” It requires and denotes action and effort. “Fling” that burden upon the Lord! “Cast” that burden
upon the Lord! Or as they say in Belfast,
“‘Chuck’ that burden upon the Lord!”
Daniel 6:16 tells us that they cast Daniel “into the den of lions.” The king’s men got Daniel by the nape of the neck and flung him into the lions den’ It took some action on their part, but they did it.
Matthew 4:12 also uses that same word: “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee.” The guards got John by the nape of the neck, and they “chucked”
him into prison. It took some action on their part, but they
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Ps. 55:22). Hurl that burden upon the Lord! Fling that burden upon the Lord! “Chuck” that burden upon the Lord!
It will take some action on your part, but you can do it!
The Bible teaches that the Lord is the great Burden-bearer. His gracious words to every saint is: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (I Pet. 5:7). How wonderful to know that Jesus cares!
THIRDLY … Leave the burden with the Lord.
In our weakness we may prove His strength and the all-sufficiency of His grace. Learn this lesson: we cannot, but He can! Your burdens, whatever they are – will you cast it upon the Lord today? It’s too heavy for you, so will you let Him carry it?
Once we have cast our burdens upon the Lord, He assumes full responsibility for the burdens for us, and He promises to sustain us and to uphold us. How wonderful this is!
He will sustain you and do more: “He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” – NEVER!
I like the old song by John Moore that says,
Days are filled with sorrow and care, Hearts are lonely and drear; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.
Cast your care on Jesus today, Leave your worry and fear;
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.
Troubled soul, the Saviour can see Every heartache and tear; Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near.
You see CALVARY made a difference to the things that you and I wrestle with every day. 2000 years ago the Lord Jesus carried
that burden of sin to the cross there. All we have to do is repent of it, claim our pardon and ask Him to forgive us.
Come to that Cross by faith today, and unload that burden of unforgiven sin and ask Jesus to save you, and He will. Be relieved of that burden, perhaps your greatest, once and for all.
You see unless you get rid of the SIN burden, it will prevent you getting free from all the others. Sin causes a blockage in the channel between man and God. God cannot hear the prayers of the sinful, – the whole system is infected by it, and it shuts down communication with the Almighty. Its like a computer virus that needs to be removed in order to prevent a system failure?
Like a virus, you can cover sin, you can patch it up, isolate it, avoid it, work around it, but sooner or later the crash is inevitable, the infection will spread and the disease will KILL.
Sin needs “expert” treatment, and there’s a great “storehouse” of that at the place called CALVARY. None who have genuinely and sincerely brought their burden of sin to that location, laid it down, and surrendered it to Jesus, ever walked away without a complete repair… and more, Jesus gives a “new life” to all who seek and find him there.
The Hymn writer said:
“If you are tired of the load of your sin, let Jesus come into your heart, if you desire a new life to begin, let Jesus come into your heart, just now your doubting give o’er, just now reject him no more, just now, throw open the door, and let Jesus come into your Heart”
Jesus is the only one who can effectively off-load our burden of sin and wrong-doing. Jesus is the only way for us to get into relationship with God. No amount of Good Deeds, no amount of Church-going, or Prayers can make any difference or bring us into favour with the Father, He sent Jesus to do that. Did not our Lord himself say “I am the way the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father except through me”
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH YOUR BURDEN?
The story is told of a Preacher who bought a great box of Theological Books at an Auction near to his home. He had walked to the sale that day without taking his car but he had bought many more books than he expected, forgetting he would have to walk home. Carrying this heavy burden of books in a large box in front of him, he began the journey of just a few blocks. On the way he met one of his prisoners who in a kind of confrontational manner asked him “Pastor, how do you know you are saved?”
Leaving the box or burden down, he said to the man, “How do I know I am not carrying that great box of books”?
“Its because you can see it standing there on the ground behind you” answered the man.
“Yes”, replied the Pastor, “and I can see I am saved from all the promises God has written for me in the Bible, but not only that, … like those books, I don’t feel the weight of my sin any longer, for I laid them down at Calvary”
Today, I’m asking every one who hears me now: Whatever your burden is, will you cast it on the Lord? Find the path to Calvary and unload it there. It’s too heavy for you, so let the Lord carry the weight of it, once its gone, you’ll know it.