Jesus and the “tare button”

When assembling a windmill wheel, it’s advisable to weigh off the individual sections, as the weight of the individual blade sections can vary by more than two pounds. Weighing them, and then carefully positioning the blade sections opposite each other based on weight helps the assembled wheel to balance and run smoothly.

To this end, I use a small digital platform scales to weigh my windmill blades. Occasionally, I need to lay a piece of plywood on the platform first, to support the large sections. After I place the plywood on the platform, I push the “tare” button, so that the weight of the plywood is not included in the net weight of the windmill blades. The “tare” button causes the scales to register “zero.”

The word “tare” comes from a 15th century French word tare meaning “wastage in goods, deficiency, imperfection,” and the French word comes from the ancient Arabic word tarh, which is “a thing deducted or rejected,” from taraha “to reject.”

What a wonderful analogy we have here for sin (deficiency and imperfection), and the saving grace of Jesus Christ that takes away our sins (to deduct or reject)! When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, Jesus hits the “tare” button on the Heavenly scales that weighs our hearts. All the sin that separated us from God’s perfection is rejected – the scale is set to “zero,” and we are given a brand-new life in Christ.

Of course, when we push the “tare” button on a scales, even though it now registers a balance of zero, there is still weight there. Just hitting the “tare” button doesn’t change the weight of the object – it simply doesn’t count against the net weight anymore. In the same way, when we commit our lives to Jesus and he hits the “tare” button on the Heavenly scale that weighs our heart, the balance goes to zero, but the weight of the sin stays the same. What’s different? Jesus is now the one that carries the weight of our sins. And every time we sin and seek forgiveness, Jesus presses the “tare” button again, and the balance once again goes to “zero.” However, the weight of our sin passes to him, again and again.

On my scales, if there is already weight on the platform, the scales automatically registers zero when it powers up, no matter how much weight is on the platform. This is a fitting comparison to people who don’t yet know Christ. They may not even be aware of the tremendous burden on their heart and soul, because they’ve not yet experienced the freedom of a transformative personal relationship with Jesus. But once they meet him – ah! That burden of sin and brokenness is lifted, and they truly begin to know just how much the Lord has done for them.

Just like on my platform scale – if I plug it in while there is already weight on the platform, and then remove that weight, the display will show the exact amount of the weight that was removed, only in a negative value. Sin always carries weight – but Jesus died and rose again to take the weight of our sin – God made him who had no sin to be the sin for us so that in him, we might become the Righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Shane Spangler7 Posts

Shane Spangler is a native of the Fairview area. He currently serves as pastor of the Fairview United Church of Christ, located at 311 South High Street in Fairview.


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