A couple of months ago in our staff meeting we sang one of my favorite hymns, How Great Thou Art. The verse that always has meant the most to me is this:
And when I think, that God His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in:
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin
Then sings my soul…my Saviour God to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
The line that hit me in a way it never had before this time was this: “That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing…..” At Samaritan we use Galatians 6:2 in almost all of our materials: “bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.” When we take on one another’s problems, help one another with sins (Gal. 6:1), and bear the hard loads with one another we’re displaying what Jesus did on the cross. One of the ways I’ve explained this to folks new to the idea (borrowed from Seth) is that we move pianos.
You’ve moved a piano (or some other heavy piece of furniture) with a friend, right? Everybody gathers around and finds a place to grab on and then lift, shuffle a few steps, and set it down. Then repeat that until you’ve gotten the piano out of the house, onto the moving truck, and then back into the new home. Bearing burdens for one another means taking on things too big for one person to handle and doing them together. And Jesus displayed this (among other things) in His bearing your burdens and mine on the Cross.
You and I owed a debt we couldn’t pay, and so He took it on Himself. He bore that debt, paid that penalty for you and for me. He didn’t have to. He did it out of love. And when you help a brother in need or do good to another man or woman (v. 10) you display the Gospel. You display what Jesus did when he bore your burden.
Live like that. Don’t grow weary in doing good and show forth what He’s done by treating others with the same love and grace has He’s shown you. Bear one another’s burdens and so proclaim the Gospel with your life and works.