Lift up (αἴρω)

Luther Walker

αἴρω (airo) means to lift up or bear. It is used for picking up a bed, baskets, fish, money, people, and many other objects. Therefore, by lifting up, you are bearing the weight. When not referring to an object, it is used of justice being stolen, the loss of life, and the lifting of sin.

When Christ informed a lame man that because his sins were forgiven, he could stand up and walk, the Jewish scribes said He was committing blasphemy. However, Jesus explained to them that He said, “The man’s sins are sent away.” so they would understand that He has the authority to forgive sins. Then He turned to the man and instructed him to lift up his bed and go home, to which the man did, Matthew 9:2-7.

Christ was manifested to lift our sins, 1 John 3:5. Through His work on the cross, while we were dead in our trespasses and sins, the Father made us alive in Christ, sending away (forgiving) our trespasses after wiping out the handwritten dogma against us, lifting it out of the way by nailing it to the cross, Colossians 2:14. Therefore, in Christ, the law has been completed and all who are in the Christ are counted to be righteous and not under the law, Romans 6:14. Just as a child is no longer under tutors and governors when he has completed his training, Galatians 4:1-2, so is a Christian when it comes to law. We are no longer to be inarticulate babblers that need the law to guide us. Instead, as sons, we must train our senses to know good and evil, Hebrews 5:14.

In response to Pilate seeking to release Jesus, for Pilate found nothing worthy of death in Christ, the leaders of Israel accused him of being against Caesar if he permitted Jesus to be set free because He is said to be the king of the Jews, John 19:11. Pilate reacts to them by presenting Jesus in a mocking way to the Jews as their king. This is when the crowd started to cry out for Pilate to lift up Jesus; to crucify Him, John 19:15. The Jews did the same thing to Paul after beating him for being in the temple, calling out to the centurion to lift up Paul, implying they wanted him crucified, Acts 22:22.

In John chapter fifteen verse two, Jesus explains the new relationship those in the Church will have with Him and the Father. He is the vine, the source of life. The Father is the vine dresser. When one of the branches is not producing, the Father lifts it. Bear up (αἴρω) does not mean to take away in the same sense as forgive (ἀφίημι), which means “to send away.” Nor is it expressing the sending away of a person such as with ἀπολύω (apoluo). The disciples asked Jesus to send away (ἀπολύω) a woman crying out after them because she sought healing. However, she was not a Jew; therefore, Jesus did not respond to her. This caused the disciples to urge Christ to send her away, Matthew 15:23. When the Father lifts a branch that is not bearing fruit, He is not removing it from the vine. Instead, just as a vinedresser will lift a branch out of the dirt and clean it up so that it can produce fruit, the Father reacts in the same manner. Things within this person’s life that are holding him down so that he cannot produce fruit are removed by the Father, lifting him up.