Real Rest

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 (NIV)
Jesus contrasts His yoke with the yoke of the Law that had burdened Jews for centuries.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  A yoke is what 2 oxen pull when plowing a field.  Donkeys are pack animals that carry burdens.  In this metaphor, Jesus tells us that His yoke is not burdensome.  At the end of the day, we will not be weary from His commands.  Jesus’ commands are light.  He summed up the Old Testament Law with two commands — love God and love others.  Rather than handing out a laundry list of do’s and don’ts, Jesus said to love God and love your neighbor.
I have discovered in life that being good can be hard work.  Following commands can be a difficult chore.  First, you have to remember all the rules to follow so that you don’t break any and second, you have to battle against a sinful nature.  How wonderful is Jesus that He says, “Take My yoke upon you.”?  It’s as though He is saying “I will pull the weight of the yoke with you.  I will help you carry that burden.  At the end of the day, I will give you rest like you’ve never known.”  He will give rest to our souls and our minds.  We need not be filled with fear or anxiety over not being good enough.  God’s loving grace makes up the difference.
PRAYER: Lord, I am weary and tired. I’m trying and trying to carry these burdens and I just can’t do it on my own. Please carry the weight of these burdens with me. Thank You for Jesus who has promised to be with me in the trials and the troubles. In His name, amen.

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