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Jesus, A Yoke of Rest?

July 22, 2009

matthew-11-28-30

Who would ever claim that the yoke Jesus wore was easy or that the burdens He carried were light? Surely the world can even see, historically and humanly, that Jesus suffered greatly, physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

So how is it that Jesus can offer true rest in Matthew 11:29:

“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.

Uh, wait a minute, take YOUR yoke upon myself? Your yoke Jesus? You mean the one that you carried? The yoke of self-denial, temptation fighting, sin-killing, disciple making, persecution, rejection, mocking and death? How is that rest? How is that going to relieve the toil from carrying my own burdens and weariness?

To which Jesus responds: “learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart”. Scripture says that Jesus “did not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering flax”. That He was the most humble man. That He was very meek. How could one with a yoke that heavy be so gentle? Probably because the weight of it humbled Him under His Father. He is God, and He carried the weight of the universe on His shoulders. Yet He was lowly in heart.

Again, how can we live up to that high standard of lowliness? First He offers us rest. Then He says that in order to get that rest, is to come to Him and take His yoke upon our own shoulders. To learn from Him and become gentle and lowly like He is. So to receive rest for our souls and relief from our burdens, we must come to Jesus, place His heavy yoke upon us, then become as gentle as He is.

Whoa! How can this be rest? Sounds like a lot of work.

Thankfully, Jesus tells us. “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

This means we can not only rest assure that He has accomplished the work for us needed to experience the Father’s love and grace, but also that we can stop our vain labor which causes heavy burdens in exchange for true rest. A rest that requires Christ-like work toward humility, gentleness, cross-bearing, and day after day of grace upon grace to fulfill the mission He has called us to.

Are you burdened, heavy laden, and weary? Come to Jesus. You can stop laboring in vain and start laboring for a purpose. You can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross by resting in Him and living like Him and for Him.

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