2 Chronicles 35 … Consider His Call to Carry the Burden No Longer

He also said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the LORD, “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built; it will be a burden on your shoulders no longer. Now serve the LORD your God and His people Israel,” (35:3).

From their days in the wilderness the Lord, in His mercy and grace, had commanded a physical structure be built, a place signifying He had made His dwelling among His people.

Let them construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them,” (Exodus 25:8).

And even greater grace and mercy were displayed in the Holy Ark, the place of the mercy seat where atonement for sin would be made; the place from where He would commune with His people.

“You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide…22 There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel,” (Exodus 25:17, 22).

And the commandment for entering the Holy Place of His Presence was exact; there must be the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all the people.

“Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. Aaron shall enter the holy place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering… 18 Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the Lord and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar on all sides. 19 With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it,” (Leviticus 16:2-3, 18-19).

As the people wandered through the wilderness, the Ark, containing His Covenant ratified by the blood, was carried by the priests to direct their movement and their rest.

Thus they set out from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey, with the ark of the covenant of the Lord journeying in front of them for the three days, to seek out a resting place for them. (Numbers 10:33).

When the temple had been constructed in the land their Lord God had provided as their possession, the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies, signifying His enduring Presence; the place His people were to stay and wait before Him.

But as a result of sin, rebellion and idolatry, the temple had been desecrated. Scripture does not elaborate on the whereabouts of the Ark prior to King Josiah’s reign. But now, as an integral part of their worship, the priests were once again assigned to carry the Ark on their shoulders, using the poles so as not to touch it, in order to bring the Ark to the permanent place prepared; representing again God’s perpetual Holy Presence and His gracious provision for redemption.

And after so doing, the priests were instructed to place the Holy Ark in the temple and to Carry the Burden No Longer.

He also said to the Levites who taught all Israel and who were holy to the LORD, “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built; it will be a burden on your shoulders no longer. Now serve the LORD your God and His people Israel,” (35:3).

It’s interesting to note that the word used to describe this carrying of the Ark, is also translated as a burden or load placed on the backs of pack animals; animals used to carry loads too heavy for humans to bear themselves.

    1. מַשָּׂא maśśāʾ: A masculine noun meaning a burden or load… It is derived from the verb nāśāʾ (5375) meaning to lift, to bear, to carry. When used to express a burden or load, it is commonly used to describe that which is placed on the backs of pack animals, like donkeys (Ex. 23:5); mules (2 Kgs. 5:17); or camels (2 Kgs. 8:9). Another common usage is in designating what parts of the Tabernacle the sons of Kohath, Gershon, and Merari were to carry (Num. 4:15, 19, 24, 27, 31, 32, 47, 49), Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.

During their wanderings, the priests were assigned to Carry the Burden that atonement could be made. When His temple had been built, it was a permanent place for His dwelling, providing security for His people; security to know where and how to find Him; but atonement for sin was always required.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement,” (Leviticus 17:11).

And while mediation by a priest was required, the priest had no means to forgive sins in and of himself; it was a load way too heavy for humans to bear. The priest was to serve the Lord in faith by offering the shed blood of an animal to make atonement. But atonement was first made for himself, and then for the sins of the people.

“Then Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household, and he shall slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself… 15 “Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, (Leviticus 17:11, 15).

Under King Josiah’s leadership, as the people returned to the Lord in humility and repentance, the priests were instructed their days of Carrying the Burden of His mercy seat were to be put to rest. What a beautiful picture pointing them forward to their Hope, to the only One qualified through His sinless life, to Carry the Burden for all.

For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself, (Hebrews 7:26-27).

Consider His Call to Carry the Burden No Longer

  • He Calls Us to Carry the Burden No Longer; for with man it is impossible.
    • They were even more astonished and said to Him, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God,” (Mark 10:26-27).
  • He Calls Us to Carry the Burden of the penalty of death for our sins No Longer; His Covenant Carries Us to Life.
    • But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 2:4-5).
  • He Calls Us to Carry the Burden of working our way into His Presence No Longer; His Covenant Grants Us Access to the Father.
    • for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit, (Ephesians 2:18-22).
  • He Calls Us to Carry the Burden of a load to heavy to bear No Longer; His Covenant invites us to His Rest.
    • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light,” (Matthew 11:28-30).

How do we respond to His Call to Carry the Burden No Longer?

As I reflected on His Call to Carry the Burden No Longer, I was reminded of the 1986 film, The Mission.

The main character in the film, Rodrigo Mendoza, who had made his living as a kidnapper and slave trader in 18th century South America, murders his half-brother after discovering an affair with his fiancé. His murderous rage spirals into a deep depression and in his desperate search for redemption for all his sins, he is challenged by a Jesuit priest to find a suitable penance. Scenes of Mendoza dragging a net filled with heavy armor and his sword up steep cliffs of Argentina graphically portray his hopeless sentiment, “For me there is no penance, no redemption great enough.” His burden is finally cut away from his shoulders at the summit of the cliffs by natives belonging to a community who had been the very targets of his mercenary commerce of slavery.

A picture of grace. And a picture of carrying a burden impossible to bear. But when man challenges himself to find a suitable penance, if we are honest with ourselves, we come to grips with the harsh reality. There is no penance great enough to redeem us before Holy God.

But when we answer His Call to Carry the Burden No Longer, fully acknowledging that in reality there is absolutely no human suitable means of penance, for with man it is impossible, we are then positioned by faith, to receive what He alone has accomplished.

Let us resolve to take hold of His Truth: He has Carried Every one of our Burdens with Him to the cross, that we may have His Life.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

Let us resolve to take hold of His Peace: He has Carried Every one of our Burdens with Him to the cross, that we may have access to His Father.

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God, (Romans 5:1-2).

Let us resolve to take hold of His Rest: He has Carried Every one of our Burdens with Him to the cross, that we may live guarded from the worries and anxieties of this world.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30).

Oh, that we would daily take hold of His Truth, His Peace and His Rest, fully and humbly assured of His love and care; that we would resolve, by faith, to Carry the Burden No Longer.

and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform, (Romans 4:21).

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you, (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Let’s Grow Together!

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