“It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” (Romans 9: 16)

Oh how many things man is asked to strap on his back and carry. You carry the weight of loved ones and their pleas. You carry the weight of toil and making the house a home. You carry the voices of guilt, shame, and hope. We carry much, dear Christian. And yet, we think we are strong enough for the load.

You and I, we run through the Sabbaths and the Sacred, thinking rest will be the final blow that breaks us. For if we were to stop all this running, wouldn’t we be scared at the rate at which our heart beats? Yes, you and I, we have the problem of loading up our backs and then fearing rest Himself. For rest is a Man, my dear Christian and He has hands, a table, and a throne.

So this day before resurrection, let us think of what our lives depend on. What is the staff that holds your weary back; the helper that makes you walk into valleys unknown? Is there a great dependence you must bear? That is the question that knocks on our hearts early in the morning and late into the night. That is the whisper that mocks our sleepless toils and beckons us to fear. What is our great dependence?

Christian, it does not depend on thee. Let that wash over you as cold water does a sore: painful and cleansing. Painful because we are fools for thinking we could bear the weight of life, glory, sin, and resurrection. Cleansing because we are told our real name all over again.

And my name and your name, they are One if we are in Christ: purchased, loved, owned, secure. Yes, you and I should dance in this name-ness. Dance and let your worship be humble. Dancing people look foolish to those that bear their own burdens but we are not those people. Friends, we bear nothing alone. Do you know this? Do you know that we, like this day, are embraced between a cross and an empty tomb?

It does not depend on our effort or desire but on the One who took death, carried the name “forsaken”, and resurrected to make us heirs.

This is a good day, dear Christian. This day we remember that our burdens are not ours alone and our God is not distant. This day let us give up our shaky staffs and burdened backs. Let us kneel at the cross and let the light of resurrection warm our faces.

We are His.

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