If you do much flying, you may have been waiting to board a plane and heard the announcement that your flight is “weight restricted.” Airline crews, specifically the dispatchers and the captain, determine how much fuel is needed to get to the destination. If a high fuel load is needed, (say, due to strong headwinds) this increases the takeoff weight of the aircraft. If the plane is too heavy to take off safely, either cargo or passengers must be left behind.
We are preparing for our voyage from this world to the next. It is coming soon and we will be flying. The Bible says, “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” (Psalm 90:10).
Angels will be carrying us to our destination. In the Bible, a poor beggar named Lazarus was carried by the angels to a place of bliss when he died (Luke 16:22). But evil people will ultimately be carried by the angels to another place — a place of fire and torment (Matthew 13:41-43).
In a spiritual sense, it’s as if some are just too heavy for the flight to heaven. Sin weighs them down. Iniquities are “like a heavy burden” (Psalm 38:4).
If we want to fly to heaven, we must lighten the load! We must cut away whatever weighs us down! Jesus tells us to get rid of anything that would make us fall, even if it be a foot, a hand, or an eye (Mark 9:43-49).
C.S. Lewis once made the following observation:
“You cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys; on one journey even your right hand and your right eye may be among the things you have to leave behind…”
“If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell. I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing…” (C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, preface)
Of His people long ago, the Lord said, “Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity,” or as another translation puts it, “you are a sinful nation loaded down with guilt” (Isaiah 1:4, NKJV & CEV). It wasn’t that Israel didn’t worship. It wasn’t that they didn’t pray. It was that they did not repent of their sins and seek cleansing from God! Their sin weighed them down!
Let’s not make the same mistake, for surely the flight to heaven is weight restricted.
– Steve Klein