Survivor, a Three-Day Devotional

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading


Day 1 - Stones on My Back

For so long I carried the weight of my past

Crippled by burdens like stones on my back

I thought I had fallen too far from your grace

But you came and showed me the way

Have you ever felt like you were carrying around a burden on your back? Others may not be able to see it, but you know it is there. Your heart is heavy and weighed down. Guilt over decisions of the past. Shame of what we have done or what others have done to us that causes us to live in the shadows. Fear, a deadly taskmaster, steadily driving us to run around in chaos. All of this leaves us weary and tired, looking for hope. 

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. In the Christian Classic, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan wrote from a prison cell about a character called Christian. Christian had found a book, and the more he read it, the heavier his burden became. A man named Evangelist visited him, told him to flee the City of Destruction, and go through the Strait Gate. Christian listened to the good news and set about His journey toward the Strait Gate. Some wondered why he would want to leave the City of Destruction. Some said he would return. Some followed him for a short time until trouble came. However, Christian knew he needed relief. He was looking for hope. He wanted to put his past in the past. Eventually, he made it through the Strait Gate to the Cross. He looked up and the boulder on his back, which he had carried so long, rolled away. It was gone. Christian had a brand-new life and began his first steps down the road to Heaven. 

Like Christian, we have found, in the truth of God’s Word, a description of the weight of sin against Holy God. It is a heavy burden to bear. It is back-breaking, causes us to stumble through life, and we wander around looking for relief. Most of the time, it is in the wrong places. 

The good news is Jesus Christ. He knows our weakness and remembers our frame (Psalm 103:14). He is the sinless Son of God and man’s sin-bearer. The weight of sin that would crush us to death and leave us separated from God forever was carried. Was it a heavy burden to carry? Oh, yes! Jesus agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane over the weight of sin before He went to the cross. The weight was so great that He sweat great drops of blood. This didn’t stop Jesus. He climbed the hill to Mt. Calvary with the weight of our sin on His back. The prophet Isaiah declared, “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.” (Isaiah 53:4-5). 

Jesus’ life did not end at the cross. Three days later, He rose in the power of an endless life and the stone was rolled away from His grave (Hebrews 7:16, Matthew 28:2). If you are carrying burdens today, come to Him. He has the power to forgive sin, can roll stones off your back, and lead you Home through fields of grace.