"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
Doesn't rest always sound good, especially at the end of a long day? Last night I lay on the couch thinking, "I could just stay here and not move if they would all let me . . . . ."
Then one of my sweet sons, Big Brother, began to scrach my back. "Ah, now this is the life!" But he didn't stop with a backscratch; he began to sing Silent Night to me! He sang 16 verses of Silent Night while he scratched my back! (He says he was trying to sing me to sleep. It almost worked. ;-)
After about 7 or 8 verses, I began to think, "I sure don't deserve these wonderful kids! Thank you, Lord, for such sweet blessings." Of course, I vowed to myself that I would never become impatient during math with Big Brother again!
Rest and relaxation always sounds good and feels good for a tired body. Yet, I wonder what the Jews thought when they heard Jesus teach them:
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
I know those people were much more tired than I am at the end of a day! Imagine their workload compounded with the anxieties and burdens of being a repressed people.
However, I think Christ may have been talking about more than just physical, emotional, or even political problems. Consider the weight of legalism they were under thanks to the priests, Pharisees, and such. Not only did they have the Law of Moses to consider and obey, they had added religious responsibilities laid on them by their religious leaders. Talk about a burden!
People all around the world are carrying burdens of the same nature. So many religions offer hope, eternal life, and paradise to those who carry the burden of good works. In Central America, I spoke with religious people who were so faithful to their religion, but it did not offer them an ASSURANCE of salvation. . . .just a "hope so."
We all at one time were under the burden of sin. Most (Matthew 7:13-14) carry that burden their whole lives.
Why carry that burden when the King of Kings calls out that His yoke is available? His "yoke is easy" and does not require laws and legalism or continual sacrifices or the insecurity of not knowing for sure! His yoke changes us and gives us the power to become more like Him! It enables us to do and be what all those laws show us we cannot be on our own!
Is your burden heavy? Have you taken the yoke of Christ?
In the Heart of our Home,