JESUS CHRIST : OUR BURDEN BEARER
Isaiah 53:4 (NKJV)
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
This chapter (Isaiah 53) stands out in the Old Testament as the single greatest prophesy of the Lord Jesus Christ and what He would accomplish for sinners. In this chapter, we learn about His Life (v. 1-3), His Death, (v. 4-9), and His Ultimate Triumph, (v. 10-12).
We are given a glimpse into the heart of God and see that He loves sinners to the degree that He was willing to pay any price for our redemption, and HE did! We are made to understand that this Jesus who died on Calvary is the very One who embodies the cry of John the Baptist from Jordan’s muddy banks, “Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” John 1:29. It is evident from this chapter that one day, we will reside with the Lord in His Heavenly home, v. 10. All this is glorious beyond description, and I am grateful to be saved by the grace of God and bound for the Promised Land. I am glad the Lord put that little phrase in the beginning of verse 4. This verse tells us, “Surely, He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows…”
Oh, I do not worry over Hell tonight, for I am eternally secure through the precious blood of the Lamb. I do not wonder if there will be a Heaven for the redeemed, for I possess His promise that one day He will come and take every child of God to be with Him there in that eternal, glorious city, John 14:1-3. I do, however, face battles and trials here below, as does every other human being alive on earth tonight! I am just grateful to the Lord that He reminds us that Jesus Christ is our Burden Bearer! It is that phrase, and that truth, that I wish to focus on this evening. I would like to preach for a while on the subject of Jesus: Our Burden Bearer.
I. THE PERSON ACKNOWLEDGED
A. He Is Unnamed By The Author – The identity of the subject of this passage is never revealed by Isaiah. He is always referred to by the pronouns he/him/his. Yet, His identity is well known to those who know Him personally. Even though His name is not given, the discerning soul knows that none other but Jesus Christ could accomplish what is ascribed to this individual. Those who are affected by Him are never the same. They have no trouble recognizing His footprint as they walk through this life.
(Ill. The Blind Man of John 9 – After he was healed by Jesus, he was asked who touched him, replied that it was a man named Jesus, v. 11. He was then commanded by the Pharisees to call Jesus a sinner, v. 24. The man’s reply is classic, “He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”, v. 25. The child of God may not have all the facts concerning Jesus, but he will be able to pick Him out of a crowd. The life touched by Him remembers Him forever!)
B. He Is Unmasked By His Activity – As I said, the activity of this unnamed man gives His identity away. Let’s look at what is said concerning Him.
1. V. 2 A Man Of Sorrows – Matthew 8:20
2. V. 2 Acquainted With Grief – The Disciple forsook Him, Matt. 26:56; Peter denied Him, Matt. 26:69-75; Judas betrayed Him, Matt. 26:47-49; His own people crucified Him, Matt. 27:22-23. Jesus was well acquainted with grief!
3. V. 5 Bruised For Our Iniquities – 1 Pet. 2:24
4. V. 6 Took Out Sins Upon Himself – 1 Cor. 5:21.
5. V. 9 Made His Grave With The Rich – Matt. 27:59-60.
6. V. 10 Conquered Death – Matt. 28:1-6
There are many other references to the life and death of Jesus in these 12 truth packed verses. However, just these few are enough to reveal the true identity of the One referred to by the prophet. He is Jesus and none other!
C. He Is Uncommon By Any Account – No matter how you slice it, Jesus has done what none other could do. In dying for our sins and rising from the dead, He has proven Himself to be none other than God. He is greater by far to any other who has ever laid claim to the title of “SAVIOR.” Jesus Christ fits the bill! He is the One we are talking about tonight.
II. THE PEOPLE AFFECTED
A. They Are A Particular People – (Ill. “Our”) The writer is speaking of a particular group of individuals. Obviously, the group he refers to are those who know the Lord in a personal way. Their relationship with the Lord sets them apart from the rest of the world.
(Ill. God’s people are a special group. Never let the devil, the world, or some long tongued, empty headed imbecile tell you that you are nothing, or a nobody. The truth of the matter is that you are a child of the King! You have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and have been adopted into the family of God – 1 John 3:1-2; Rom. 8:15. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for your redemption and now you are royalty – Rev. 1:6. Thank God, we are citizens of that heavenly city, Phil. 3:20, and one day, we will be seen for what we are! Imagine the scene at the Great White Throne. Every sinner will be assembled, along with the devil and his angels. The glorified saints will stand and view the scene, glorifying Christ in our new bodies as He renders just judgment upon His enemies. Thank God, I am part of that particular group.)
B. They Are A Peculiar People – (Ill. Titus 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:19 – In these 2 verses, the saints of God are called a “peculiar people.” This doesn’t mean that we are strange, or weird. It does mean that we are God’s unique possession. Essentially, this word reminds us that we have been bought with a price, and that God has a vested interest in our welfare. In other words, Jesus cares about what happens to you!)
(Ill. The very fact that the Lord is represented as moving to lift the burden of these people is evidence that He is moved with concern when His people are in crisis.
(Ill. The 3 Hebrews in the fiery furnace – Jesus was moved by their need and joined them, delivering them from the fire.)
(Ill. Mary and Martha – They were grief stricken over the death of Lazarus. Jesus was so moved with compassion that He wept with them at the grave side.)
(Ill. The Disciples in the storm – They were struggling against the wind and felt alone, but Jesus knew their situation and was watching all the time.)
C. They Are A Privileged People – They are privileged in the fact that they are in a personal relationship with the God of miracles. (Ill. Billions pray everyday to someone of thing they consider to be a god. Their god, however, has no ability to help them and cannot hear them when they cry unto him – Psa. 115:4-8.)
(Ill. God’s people are different! They serve a living God! A God who is mighty in power and able to do anything – Jer. 33:3. When God’s saints call on His name in the dark day of trials and troubles, Heaven begins to mobilize in their aid. We have a God who is able to hear and is able to answer his children – Isa. 65:24; Matt. 7:7-11!)
D. They Are A Pained People – Salvation is no hedge against trouble! Every saint of God, at one time or another, goes through the dark valleys of life. (Ill. Job – Job 14:1; Job 5:7; Eccl. 2:23)
(Ill. This verse speaks of grief, (sickness or anxiety – worry), and sorrows, (pains and afflictions), these two words sum up the trials of life which we face. When life falls apart at the seams, we are too quick to throw in the towel. We must never be guilty of counting God out in any situation! Trials that we will never weather alone. Thank God we do not have to.)
(Ill. Don’t you think it looked hopeless to the old widow there in Zeraphath? I wonder how Israel felt with their backs to the Red Sea and their faces towards the Egyptians? I suppose Elijah may have felt pretty intimidated being outnumbered 850 to 1 there on Mt. Carmel. I guess Mary and Martha lost hope when Lazarus died. Never count God out! No matter how dark the night looks, remember the morning is coming and with the morning comes rejoicing – Psa. 30:5.)
(Ill. Never get to the place where you think you are alone in suffering! Everyone has their problems, but thank God, Jesus Christ makes a difference! This verse also talks of a great promise to those undergoing times of trial and hardship.)
( Charles Lowry tells the story of poor Mr. Jones: “One day Mrs. Jones decided to get rid of some bad hair spray that she had. She decided that a good way to get rid of it would be to spray it into the commode. Shortly afterwards, her husband came home. As was his usual custom, he went to the`reading room’ (bathroom) to relax. As soon as he was comfortably seated, he lit a cigarette and tossed the match between his legs into the commode.
“You guessed it! The hair spray exploded and blew Mr. Jones heavenward. Unfortunately for Mr. Jones, the shower bar stopped his ascent. So, after the ambulance arrived the driver asked Mrs. Jones how Mr. Jones got both a burned backside and a concussion at the same time. As she began to explain what had happened, the ambulance attendants were carrying Mr. Jones down the stairs. They got so tickled about the story that they dropped Mr. Jones down the stairs and broke both his arms.
“Poor Mr. Jones, it definitely was not his day. He suffered one burned backside, one concussion, and two broken arms.”
Now don’t you have a lot to be grateful for?)
(Ill. We have our problems, but thank God they usually aren’t that severe!)
III. THE PROMISE AFFIRMED
A. There Is A Promise To Lift Our Load – The word “borne”, comes from the Hebrew word “nasa”. It means “To lift up and bear away.” As we go through life, there will be times when burdens and sorrows will abound, but Jesus has promised that He will lift our burdens from our shoulders, Matt. 11:28. Jesus has offered us a place of rest. A place we can flee to when the burdens of life get heavy and oppressive. That place is Himself – 1 Pet. 5:7; Phil. 4:6-7; Psa. 27:13-14; Psa. 55:22.
(Ill. Jesus may not immediately deliver you from that valley, but He will never leave you in it – Heb. 13:5!)
(Ill. While walking along the shores of the Dead Sea one day, a man lost his balance and fell into the water at a point where it was rather deep. Never having learned to swim, he was panic-stricken. In desperation he began to thrash about with his arms and legs, fearing he would sink and drown. At last completely exhausted, he felt he could do no more. Crying out to God for help, he prepared for the worst. What a surprise awaited him; for as soon as he relaxed the water bore him up. He had forgotten that the Dead Sea is so full of salt and other minerals that if a person lies still, he can easily float upon its surface. He will not drown as long as he resigns himself to the buoyancy of the water. This simple story has a profound lesson for us who are the Lord’s children. His everlasting arms will uphold us if we simply relinquish our unnecessary fears and cease from our own carnal efforts. The safety and serenity offered by such a complete reliance on Him will quiet our hearts even in our most desperate hours of difficulty. The eternal God is a never-failing Help when we flounder in the sea of trial and sorrow.)
B. There Is A Promise To Lighten Our Load – The word “carried” means to “bear a load.” God never forces us to bear the loads of life alone! We have a personal Savior who feels our hurts and is acquainted with our grief – Isa. 53:3, Heb. 4:15. Because of this, we should never hesitate to bring our needs before the Lord. He will always be there to help us when we need Him – Heb. 4:16.
(Ill. There are times when the valleys seem to go on forever, times when the night never seems to end. Times when our load seems so heavy that we feel the next step will be our last. The good news is that these things will not last for ever! One day soon, we will reach the end of this road and we will step out of this life of troubles and trials into an eternity free from even the hint of pain. Ill. Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17)
(Ill. While we are still here, though, there will be trials and there will be burdens that we will have to endure. In those times, we have His faithful promise – Rom. 8:28. He has promised to get us through even the worst of times – 2 Cor. 12:9)
C. When we consider the fact that the Lord says here that He “hath” borne of griefs and carried our sorrows, we may be tempted to question this truth. If the Lord has already taken care of these things, then why do we still have to face them? Well, the word “hath” in the Hebrew language that speaks of an action that was completed in the past, but that has results throughout time. In other words, Jesus is reminding us that our need is simply the evidence of His supply in waiting! If I have a burden, or a need, it means that God has a solution already – Phil. 4:19, and that He will send it in His time!
(Ill. From where the Lord sits, my need has already been met. He saw tomorrow while today was still tomorrow, and when today is yesterday, Jesus will still know all my tomorrows and will already have made provision for anything that I will face out there!)
(Ill. Sometimes, God will lift our burdens away totally, other times, He decides to leave them in place. If He does this, you can rest assured that He will help to shoulder the load, and that in doing so, He will carry the lion’s share.)
What are your “griefs and sorrows” this evening? There may not be a thing I can do for you, but I know Jesus Christ can! What you need to do is bring your burdens to Him and cast them on His strong shoulders. He will lift away your burden and help shoulder the loads He decides to leave in place! You come and He will meet with you right now.