Following Jesus 125

Blog #2015-69  

Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.

The opening paragraphs for John Bunyan’s classic work Pilgrim’s Progress begins as follows:

“AS I walked through the wilderness of this world, I came upon a certain place where there was a den; and I lay down in that place to sleep; and as I slept I dreamed a dream. I dreamed, and, behold, “I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back,” (Isa. 64:6; Luke 14:33; Psa. 38:4; Hab. 2:2; Acts 16:31). I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and as he read, he wept and trembled; and not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, “What shall I do?” (Acts 2:37).” 

The cry of the sinner who becomes aware of this burden of sin is “What shall I do? What can I do? Is there any hope for me?  Who, or what can rid me of this great and heavy burden? What must I do to be saved? 

A burden is a weight. It is a load, especially a heavy one. A burden may be the source of great worry or stress. In the life of the pilgrim, the traveler in this life, it is the great weight or burden because of one’s sin. It is the knowledge of one’s sin, and the guilt a person experiences because of their sin. 

Dr. R.C. Sproul comments, “In our day, the weightiness of the Gospel itself has been eclipsed. I doubt there’s a period in the history of the church in which professing evangelicals have been ignorant of the elements of the biblical gospel as they are today.” Therefore, there is no sense of sin’s weight upon the life of the sinner. There is no conviction that there is anything much wrong with him. To coin a phrase popular in the 1970’s, “I’m okay, you’re okay.” 

However, there are many who have sensed the great weight of the burden of their sin. I know I have. So did King David. He speaks of it in Psalm 38 in which he describes in vivid imagery the crushing weight and despair he experiences under the burden of his sin. 

King David, much like you and me and the pilgrim of Bunyan’s book, knew the reality of his own personal and great burden. David’s psalm (38) is a psalm of deep, personal crying, weeping and grief. David’s cry, in part, is due to his own, personal burden of sin.  What is true of David is true for us all.

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