I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. –Leviticus 26:13
Back spasm quickly turn into whole-body pain. One muscle seizes up, and instantly more muscles tighten in a cascade of pain that radiates up to the neck and down to the knees. Sitting with back pain is hard; walking with back pain can be near impossible. We shuffle along, hunched completely over.
Israel journeyed through life, doubled over in pain. Merciless Egyptian overlords. Backbreaking work. A joyless present and a hopeless future. God’s people shuffled through life, seeing only the sand beneath their feet.
No concoction in any pharmacy could relieve their pain of body and soul. God alone could help. God alone could remedy the suffering of his people. And he did just that! In mercy, the Lord stepped into the lives of his people, promising relief:
I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. –Leviticus 26:12-13
Then, as now, God never distance himself from the pain of his people. Jesus suffered pain of both body and soul; he was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”. When you walk with bodily pain, Jesus is not far away. When you lie awake in the middle of the night, fear stabbing at your heart, Jesus draws near. When your should hurts for your family, Jesus cares!
Christ Jesus knows what it feels like to hurt–and to hurt for others. He struggled with the greatest pain of all, the pain of our guilt and our death, on the cross.
And in Jesus, God has shown us that he knows how to break the bands of oppression. In Jesus, he broke the power of death itself. We have seen our Savior stride– upright in victory — from the tomb on Easter morning.
In Jesus, God makes it possible for us to walk upright and in victory, too, even through life’s hard times. Step by step, your Lord walks beside you. His presence is your strength. His promises are your hope.
From the book “Man of God: Walking by Faith”