Lord's Day Liturgy

The Weight of Hell on His Shoulders

Sometimes we say that a man with a big decision is walking around carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. We can also say that a man with sin, big or not, is walking around with the weight of hell on his shoulders.

I was thinking about the heaviness of “the stone like a great millstone” which an angel throws into the sea in Revelation 18:1. The stone represents the city weighed down in her evil-doing. But Scripture describes the weightiness or heaviness of a man’s sin as well.

Jesus warned against “hearts [being] weighed down with dissipation/self-indulgence and drunkenness and the cares of this life” (Luke 21:34). “Weak women” are “burdened with sins and led astray by various passions” (2 Timothy 3:6). And David sang,

There is o soundness in my flesh
because of your indignation;
there is no health in my bones
because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.
(Psalm 38:3-4)

In The Pilgrim’s Progress we follow Pilgrim and grow more and more anxious for him to take off the load that makes him stoop and sweat. Then,

I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble, and so continued to do, till it came to the mouth of the sepulchre, where it fell in, and I saw it no more.

This time of confession is a time for you to take off any burdens, not of your suffering, but of your sin. Jesus is the only one who can forgive and free us, and this is the way: confession and repentance.

Are you carrying sin because you think that’s better than others finding out you’re a sinner? Are you thinking you can handle this on your own? Are you waiting for someone else to go first? Give it up. There is no more burden for all who believe, because Jesus was crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).