Friday, October 25, 2019

The Easy Yoke and the Light Burden

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 NASB

The definition of yoke is – 1. A crossbar with two U-shaped pieces that encircle the necks of a pair of oxen or other draft animals working together. b. pl. yoke or yokes - A pair of draft animals, such as oxen, joined by a yoke.  2. A frame designed to be carried across a person's shoulders with equal loads suspended from each end.
The illustration of a yoke here is symbolic of Jesus helping to carry our load.  A yoke was most often used between two oxen.  The two yoked together would lighten the burden, and usually a young inexperienced ox was paired with an older more experienced ox that knew what to do.  This is similar to Jesus helping us.  He knows just what to do and He will help carry our load.  
Grace! Not Works!The “yoke of the Pharisees” was the burdensome yoke of self-righteousness and legalistic law-keeping.  They believed that only keeping the law would bridge the gap between their sinfulness and God’s holiness.  
Jesus’ yoke is light.  He knows that no amount of law-keeping will bridge this chasm.  Romans 3:20 tells us through the prophet Isaiah that no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law.  
The good news is that Jesus promises to all who come to Him that He will give them rest from the heavy burden of trying to earn our way into heaven and rest from the oppressive yoke of self-righteousness and trying to earn our way through works. 
Knowing that we have this assurance in Him should help us to rest a lot easier.  He has paid the biggest price of all our troubles.  Whatever we face in life, none of it could be as big as the thought that we will be separated eternally from God because of our sin.  If God can save us from our sins, is there anything that He can’t do for us?  If He can save our lives, if He can defeat the power of sin and death, He can take care of us.  Our trials are overwhelming to us, but they are no surprise to Him and no match for His power.  
Resting in His YokeWhen we learn how to completely hand over all things to Jesus and trust in His wisdom and power, we can find true rest.  There is nothing like the feeling of a burden lifted.  Even when it doesn’t go away, we can turn it over to Him so that we can find that relief.  He wants our burdens, He wants our pain.  It gives Him joy to take the burden off of us, the same way it brings a parent joy to help their child through a hard time or teach them how to overcome an issue. We are never alone in anything we go through in this life.  He is with us every step of the way and provides the sanctuary in the storm we so desperately need.  Trust Him.  Give Him your burdens and fears and take His yoke that provides rest and peace.  Surrender your own desires and thoughts about how to solve the issues you are facing and trust in His infinite power and wisdom.  He loves us and longs for us to trust Him enough to find rest in that trust.    

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