But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
A blanket of white covered the terrain for as far as the eye could see. Boundaries once created with the silhouette of hedges were now blurred by the layer of fresh snow. The pathway to our casita was obscured by the tree branches bent low under the weight of the powder. I stood admiring the beauty of a Spring blizzard when an unfamiliar sound interrupted my meditation.
The groundskeeper was moving toward our casita with his snow blower. He was actively clearing a route so we could leave without hiking through snow drifts. As I watched him move methodically up and down the walkway, I couldn’t help but wonder what he would do about the low-hanging branches. The thought had narrowly escaped my mind when he reached out and struck one of the branches. The branch that once drooped low with the weight of snow was now free to return to its original position.
The weighted branch did nothing to change positions separate from the intervention of the groundskeeper. No amount of wishing and wanting would have been enough to release the branch from the burden of a bent-low posture. Without his involvement, the branch would have remained obstructed by the heaviness of the snow.
On our own, separate from God, we are burdened by the weight of sin and shame. Our posture has been bent low with the exhaustion of trying to be good enough, say the right things, prove our worth, and be good people. The wisdom of heaven saw our obscured intentions, motives, and postures and executed a plan to restore us. The plan had a name; it was Jesus.
We couldn’t do it on our own, just as the branch could not will itself to be unburdened by the weight it was under. We needed the intervention of someone else, so Jesus assumed the sin we had yet to commit. He willingly died a criminal’s death, was wrapped in grave clothes, and placed in a tomb that could not contain him. He bent low, so we could stand tall in the hope of his resurrection.
As he assumed the weight of our sin, we received the invitation to live as changed people. We don’t have to lug around the weight of past indiscretions and failures. If we’ve accepted the gift of grace offered by the resurrected Christ, we are free to walk differently. Are you burdened with the weight of trying to be someone different or behave differently? Let the image of the empty tomb, death defeated, minister to the place of your exhaustion. Just as the blanket of white covered the landscape around our casita, so the blood of Christ washes us white as snow.
What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Oh! Precious is the flow that makes me white as snow
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Come to the cross tomorrow during our Day of Reflection, open from 10am to 7pm in the main auditorium, and lay your burdens at His feet.