Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”( Matthew 11:28-30)
This invitation is one that has sustained me through the years. My eyes mist when I think of all the times in my life that I simply turned to Him and He shared my burden so that I could find rest.
This beautiful invitation from Jesus can sustain us for a myriad of reasons.
We start with its simplicity. God doesn’t offer a complicated formula for helping us carry our burdens. He offers only one “Come to me . . . and I will give you rest.” Come to me no matter what is going on in your life.
“Come to me,” he says, “cast your anxieties on me for I care for you” (1 Peter 5:7) “Trust in me with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3: 5) he says, “and you will find rest for your souls.”
The simplicity of that promise is both striking and refreshing. Come to me no matter what is going on in your life. Come to me without hesitation and without fear.
Jesus then adds the ultimate promise. He promises us that His “yoke is easy” and His “burden is light.” What does that mean? Does it mean that coming to Jesus will remove all hardship from our lives? No, not really. What it means is that coming to Jesus will enable us to endure and walk through any hardship we encounter in life.
God the Son came and took on our human nature and all that goes along with being human. And though He never sinned, He allowed Himself to experience the effects of sin and the burden it imposes. So as God, He is able to look us in the eye and tell us that He understands our hardships because He lived them. He lived them out of love for us so that He could help us endure, joyfully, all we face in life.
What is happening here is a yoke-exchange. In the cross, Jesus takes our inconceivably and unbearably heavy yoke of sin’s condemnation and penalty, and offers us in exchange the easy yoke and light burden of simply trusting him. He does all the work and gives us all the rest. And his work not only fully addresses our sin problem, but also provides the supply of every other need we will ever have (Philippians 4:19) All we are required to do is trust him.
By going to Jesus, we find rest, we find comfort, we find healing, we find peace. For Jesus is gentle and humble of heart. We need to entrust all our human conditions, our problems, weaknesses and sicknesses to Jesus.
Today, promise yourself that you will forever hold on to this gentle and glorious invitation from Jesus. Let Him enter into whatever it is that burdens you. Let Him carry the yoke that you carry and give you, instead, the gentle yoke He has prepared for you. The cross you bear may not go away, but it will be transformed and made light in His grace.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, I surrender my life and all that I am to You. I accept Your invitation to come to You. Thank You for Your unfailing compassion and concern for me. Jesus, I trust in You.”
Because our burdens are not simple, they are not relieved by simplistic platitudes (“Cheer up! Things are bound to turn around!”). But a simple promise can relieve a complex burden, provided we believe that the power behind the promise is complex and strong enough to relieve our heaviness.
And into our weariness steps the most complex power in existence speaking a promise as simple, hopeful, and refreshing as we could possibly want: