What a minute! Did you notice that Jesus’ invitation to come and rest isn’t an invitation to be yoke free? Jesus isn’t saying that your problem is that you have a yoke. He’s saying your problem is that you have the wrong yoke! What you need is His yoke, because…
True Rest is found in Jesus’ light yoke.
So what is a yoke? A yoke was a heavy wooden harness placed around the neck of a beast of burden, like an ox. It was attached to a vehicle used to carry heavy loads. This agricultural metaphor of the yoke that Jesus’ audience were carrying where many: The oppressive religion of the Pharisees based on their legalistic interpretation of the Law of Moses, the economic oppression brought on by the wealthy, the oppressive Roman taxation system. These became a collective heavy yoke on the necks of the people that was hard to bear. Jesus says, “Oh weary soul. Come to Me. Let me remove the burden of that yoke and let Me give you My yoke. For My yoke is light. My yoke won’t weight you down.”
So what is His yoke? It’s the ways of Jesus revealed in a life of love and service. Ellen White says in the Desire of Ages, it’s...
It’s receiving the grace of Christ and daily seeking the infilling of the Holy Spirit that overflows in love and a life of discipleship. It’s the call to be a follower of Jesus! This is why Jesus says “learn of Me.” He wants you to “learn the unforced rhythms of grace.” He wants you to replicate His life, His ways, His disciple making, His character in you. His character of love, He says, is revealed in gentleness and lowliness of heart or humility. He draws you with His love and is in essence promising you that your relationship with Him, as His follower, will cause you to pattern your character like His.
So what’s the result of this kind of life? A heart that’s at rest. An ever increasing peace of mind. There will be a lightness about life. As a matter of fact Jesus says it’s easy. You’ll find rest for your soul, because He does the heavy lifting. When you come along side Him under His yoke and let Him show you how to do life His way, the burdens of life will be easy and light. It’s what I like to call restful working. You’re working and going about life from a place of rest in Christ.
Doing life without Jesus is heavy. Doing religion, Christianity, Adventism, without Jesus feels burdensome. Trying to keep the law without Jesus is misery. If your doing this and it feels heavy, weary or burdensome, it’s because your doing it wrong! It should feel light, even when life is hard. If your heart is not at rest in Jesus, trusting is His grace, His strength, His salvation, then you need to receive the gospel and enter His rest.
Whatever you are facing right now as you read this, please know that…
Jesus invites you to find true rest for your soul by coming to Him and receiving His light yoke.
You enter true rest when you receive Christ’s completed work of redemption on the cross. You cease from striving to earn salvation by your deeds. You are no longer anxious about acceptance with God, because you have it in Christ. His righteousness, perfection and holiness have been given to you by His shed blood. Now He asks you to enter His grace. His rest. His Shalom, which in Hebrew is His peace.
Come. And. Rest.