“Your servant became surety for the lad to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before father forever’” (Genesis 44:32).

When Patrik Baboumian lifted 1,210 pounds with a special yoke and carried it thirty-two feet in 2013, he set a world record for carrying the most weight. The thirty-four-year-old German-Armenian has also set records for the log lift and has won the title of “Strongest Man in Germany.” When he set down the 1,210 pounds in Toronto, he turned to the cheering crowds and shouted, “Vegan power!” Baboumian eats no meat or dairy products.

Patrik became interested in bodybuilding as a young man in Germany after emigrating there from Iran at the age of seven with his mother and grandmother. He explained that his desire to be strong grew out of the insecurity he experienced being born during the Iranian Revolution and growing up during the Iran-Iraq War. “When bombing is going on, you see a lot of people screaming around you and you can’t do anything if you’re small,” he shared. “You just want to break out of that and be strong.”

Judah once offered to carry an unusually heavy weight. When he and his brothers went to Egypt to buy grain during a famine, their younger brother Joseph had become governor of Egypt. They didn’t recognize him, but he knew them and tested their hearts. At one point he told them that if they were to ever come back, they must bring their youngest brother.

Jacob was obviously distraught over the situation and when their grain ran out, he reluctantly agreed to let Benjamin go. It was in this context that Judah told Jacob, “If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father forever.” It was a self-sacrificing statement and showed the compassion he felt for his father.

In one sense Judah exhibited the likeness of Christ who bore the blame for our sins when He carried them to the cross. He lifted a weight off our shoulders that would have crushed us.

Lord Jesus, thank You for carrying the weight of the world on Your shoulders. Thank You for taking the blame so that I can live in Your strength.

For Further Study: Matthew 11:29, 30; Psalm 81; Isaiah 53:4–6

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