He Himself Bore Our Sins
1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
He bore our sins. He bore their weight. We are all familiar with this concept – carrying a bag of concrete, or a heavy tool, or moving a friend’s armoire down the stairs, or ladies maybe you can relate better to carrying a sleeping baby in a car seat and a loaded diaper bag for two miles from the parking lot into the store (fatigue has a way of distorting distance). We all know what it feels like to carry a heavy pack (like in Pilgrim’s Progress).
In 2017, I visited the 9/11 memorial in NYC and there I remembered a different kind of weight. 110 floors of building, 200,000 tons of steel, 425,000 cubic yards of concrete, and 600,000 square feet of glass. That came down with an incredible crushing force – estimated at an equivalent to exploding 600 tons of TNT. I saw a 15-ton composite at the memorial – which looked like a big rock with metal in it - 5 floors packed together and fused. You may remember that rescue workers expected to find many bodies but none were found, due to the extreme falling weight of the buildings.
This is a powerful image of the spiritual weight of sin, not just a heavy pack to carry around that we drop at the cross. Not even an extraordinary man could hold up a quarter mile of skyscraper and save everyone inside and beneath. None of us could bear the weight of our own sin coming down on us. Only Jesus Christ, God taking on flesh, could – and would – and DID – bear the world’s sins and save all who put their trust in him.
But only those who trust in him. We must trust him. Many around us, maybe even you today, are in a spiritual high rise about to come down, it’s hard to say when. Flee to the safety only found in Jesus. Our verse says that “he himself bore your sins”. I took part in another memorial in NYC, one held on Sunday at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. As I approached the front and took a piece of crushed, broken bread, the person holding the plate looked me in the eye and said, “the body of Christ, broken for you.” I can’t do that physically for you today, but if you have shared in his death and resurrection, remember the crushing weight he bore for you, and worship.