In J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings, a young hobbit named Frodo Baggins is given the enormous task of being the ring-bearer. The ring, of course, is very powerful and has the ability to create darkness in the one who bears it. Yet Frodo willing takes on the task of bearing the ring to Mount Doom, where it can be destroyed.
Throughout the story, Frodo struggles under the burden of carrying the ring and, at times, almost succumbs to its power. But Frodo is accompanied by his gardener and friend, Samwise Gamgee, who helps him to complete the task set before him. But Sam cannot bear the burden of the ring for Frodo. Sam knows this and at Frodo’s lowest point, Sam says, “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.” And so Sam physically carries Frodo as they head to Mount Doom.
Each one of us bears a heavy burden in life. It is not a ring of power, but its weight in our lives is just as heavy as the weight of the ring that Frodo carried. The burden that we bear is the burden of our sin. Each one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). And each one of us faces the penalty of that sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). But just as Frodo had Sam to help him to bear the burden of the ring, we have someone who can help us to bear the burden of our sin, and that is Jesus Christ.
But, while Sam could not carry the ring for Frodo, Jesus can carry our sin. And not only can He carry it, but He did carry it. Jesus carried the burden of our sin, taking it upon Himself. He carried that burden to Calvary, where He was nailed to a cross, where He suffered and died to pay the penalty for our sin. He took our sin from us and our sin was crucified with Him on that cross. Then, three days later, He rose, conquering both sin and death.
Jesus paid the price for our sin. All we need to do is to believe that He did, to turn from our sinful ways, and to follow Him as Lord and Savior.