Sometimes we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. That brings to mind a picture I’ve seen of Atlas holding up the world. It’s an amusing picture but the feeling is not so fun. We feel burdened by all the troubles and trials of life, but this is not what God wants for us.
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV) Rest! That sounds so nice. There are times when I’d love to go back to childhood when naps were mandatory every afternoon. That rest was needed for young minds to function and young bodies to grow. We have so much going on in our lives, that we are in a constant state of exhaustion. Jesus calls to come to Him, lay down our burdens and rest.
Then He goes on to tell us about His burden for us. “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 11:29-30) I’m sure you’ve seen the wooden yokes made to fasten field animals to plows and other farm implements. They were made to work best with a good, even team; then they didn’t overburden one animal and hurt or weary both. Jesus describes Himself as “gentle and humble in heart,” meaning He will patiently, gently lead us, not tugging, not yanking, not forcing, but leading those that put on His yoke. He does the hard part; He died for our sins so we don’t have to. That took our burden. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Because of Jesus death, that heavy burden of sin is no longer ours to carry. We’ve been forgiven and freed from the bondage, the yoke that weighed us down. “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2Corinthians 9:15)