Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Download MP3 (right click to save)
I was speaking at a Christian workers' conference in Alaska, and a veteran missionary approached me afterward with some intriguing information. She and her husband have worked for many years with an Indian tribe in Alaska - a tribe that has an interesting custom. If you're from that tribe, they said you grow up learning about your backpack. It's not a real backpack, but it's a symbol of a very real human experience. The idea is that whenever you do something wrong, a rock goes in your backpack and you carry on your back all the weight of all your mistakes all your life.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Goodbye, Backpack."
When I heard about that, I couldn't help but think what an accurate image that is no matter what tribe you are from. In a sense, we really do carry around with us the weight of the things we've done wrong, the people we've hurt, the failures, the sins. With our backpack comes this feeling of guilt, and shame, and regret. Many people carry their backpack till the day they die, but you don't have to be one of them.
In our word for today from the Word of God, there is a very moving statement of what God has done to liberate us from the load of a lifetime of our sin. Speaking of Jesus, the Bible says in Isaiah 53:4, "Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows...He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our inequities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him."
God says that Jesus, His one and only Son, took the backpack that was full of my sin, put it on Himself and carried it all the way to an old, rugged cross. He carried yours, too. If He hadn't, there would be absolutely no way you or I could have a chance of going to heaven. After all, when the Bible describes heaven, it says, "Nothing impure will ever enter it" (Revelation 21:27). You can't get into heaven if you've still got the backpack of your sin.
Some of us hope we might be good enough to get into heaven. Right? That's probably the main reason we get involved in our religion and our church. But the Bible makes two things very clear: one, every one of us has this backpack called sin. It says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Two, there is no good we can do that will pay for our sin. In God's own words now, "He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy" (Titus 3:5). God's bottom line is this statement, Hebrews 9:22: "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness."
That's why Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced, and crushed, and nailed to a cross, to pay the penalty for every sin you and I have ever done, so we don't have to. I've been with a lot of people the day they finally put their total trust in Jesus to forgive their sin and make them right with God. And often they have described the feeling this way. They'll say, "I feel like a hundred-pound weight's been lifted from my back." Well, it has. The deadly backpack of sin is gone.
Yours can be, too, today, if you will, in your heart, make your way up that hill where Jesus died and leave your backpack, full of the sins of a lifetime, at the foot of His cross. If you don't belong to Jesus, and you want to, oh for goodness sake, tell Him right now, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
I've actually set up our website to be in a place of a new beginning where you can find right there in front of you the information from God's own Word about how to be sure every sin has been erased from God's Book, and you're going to heaven when you die. Our website is ANewStory.com. I hope you can remember that and go there before this day's over.
Jesus carried all your sins to His cross, so you don't ever have to carry them again.