The writer of Proverbs counsels sluggards to consider the ant and become wise. Ants are diligent workers storing food at harvest to have vittles when groceries are scarce. This minute creature can instruct us regarding industrious labor and careful planning.

But I’d like to consider another quality of this insect. Ounce for ounce, ants are some of the strongest creatures in God’s Creation. Certain species of these tiny powerlifters can carry over 5,000 times their weight! That means an average human could hoist 425 tons with ease—the equivalent of three fully loaded train cars.

This comparison helps us to comprehend the weight of Jesus’ cross. Although the crossbeam didn’t weigh nearly that much, the weight of the sin He carried is impossible to estimate. Imagine the total of all of your sins alone and then when you add mine, it would sink the most buoyant ship. Then add those of everyone ever born and we begin to realize the unfathomable spiritual weight Jesus bore.

How much does one lie, one foul word or one hateful attitude weigh? Once you know, multiply by the number of times you’ve committed each. How many pounds of pride, selfishness, lust, and greed have we amassed over our lifetimes?

After the sin bin is full of these, add all the murders, rapes, and thefts ever committed. Throw in all the wars of history along with racism, prostitution, drunkenness, and gluttony. Even if each sin weighed a fraction of an ounce, the total tonnage is staggering when all are added together for the billions who have ever lived.

Looking ahead to that day when Jesus would trudge up Golgotha’s steep slope, Isaiah said, “Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows…He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed… The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6) All our sins were loaded onto Jesus. Imagine the crushing force that one soul endured.

We can understand His exhaustion and fatigue when we ponder the overwhelming weight of sin that Jesus willfully carried. No wonder He sweat great drops of blood as He shouldered that burden in Gethsemane and prayed for this cup to pass. Nevertheless, not His will, but the Father’s He did. The burden that was impossible for us was taken up by the One who added nothing to its weight. He had committed no offense nor contributed even a hair’s heaviness, yet He bore the burden we could not and was crucified for it in our place.

As we contemplate the wondrous love demonstrated on Good Friday, let us be mindful of how much of His load we are guilty of. Let us appropriate His sacrifice for ourselves and endeavor never to add another ounce. As we consider the ants scurrying about with their burdens, let’s thank and worship Jesus for bearing the infinitely heavy weight of our sin on Calvary’s cross.

Submitted by George Bowers