|Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me|
Jesus had a heart and passion for the souls of the people living during His time on earth. He knew that the people with whom He shared His Jewish heritage were oppressed and wearied from years of foreign occupation and rule. He knew that their minds were held captive every bit as much as their bodies through lengthy subjugation and demoralization. The Roman regime were heavy taskmasters and the occupied people were beleaguered.
But, Jesus had an answer:
Matthew 11:28-30 (AMPC)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
We may not be living under an oppressive Roman rule any longer; but governments have a way of coming around to heavy handedness in some form or other………… and this world will always be fallen until Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom. So, how can we find true rest for our souls (minds)? Is it possible that we are carrying around the weight of the past and that it has become a heavy burden? What about the chores, tasks, and work that are mounting up before us each day? What does it mean to take Jesus’ yoke or to be yoked to Him?
When animals were widely used in farming, oxen were often teamed together with double yokes. It was a wooden bar which harnessed two animals (typically oxen) together to cause the load to be carried more easily. Often, one harness was larger and meant for the stronger, more experienced animal, while the smaller harness was used for the animal being trained. Jesus wants to guide each one of us and take the burden off our shoulders and minds (souls). When we cast all our care on Him, Jesus takes our burden and in exchange, we can rest amid all that is before us. (1 Peter 5:7)
Picture the following:
A person is bowed down with burdens as if a wooden yoke is around their head. It is heavy, and their head is swaying to the right and left, their eyes looking only forward or down, but not up, due to the weight. They are moving slowly, and do not even see the heavy chains attached to each ankle. The chains are from worry, anxiety, fear, abuse, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, lust, pride, iniquities, sin consciousness, and other memories that have been haunting their thoughts.
But, by the GRACE of GOD, the person is introduced to Jesus Christ, Who takes their yoke in exchange for His, and the harness on their neck is removed. A sense of release and freedom is known, but the hidden chains remain in darkness. These are secrets of the past that no one can see outwardly or understand. Yes, as Christians, we can carry around these chains until the Holy Spirit reveals the truth and we are set free.
Colossians 2:14 (NKJV) having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
At the cross, Jesus Christ’s shed blood erased all the sin, transgression, and iniquity that was against us. He redeemed us from the curse of the law, from all generational curses, and from the hand of the enemy. (Galatians 3:13; Psalm 107:2) Jesus died to set us free from worry, anxiety, fear, illness, and all disease (dis-ease). The Dark Ages’ lie that the Christian life is “one of suffering” has permeated the Church for decades. Each one of us must believe and lay hold of the promises Jesus Christ made available to us by His death and resurrection.
So, how does “knowing” the scriptures in our heads become a reality in our hearts? Our souls (minds) need to be saturated with the truths of the Word of God. When Jesus Christ set us free from the past, we are free now! (John 8:32) The chains of the past finally come loose, sometimes one link at a time, perhaps all at once, and then all our mourning is turned to dancing! We have been set free by the knowledge of Jesus Christ’s finished work at the cross.
Can we sit and take a few minutes to REST in Him: to hear the Lord speak to us in our hearts? His voice sounds like ours, but Jesus will confirm His words to you. There won’t be any more doubt in our minds when we hear and listen and read the scriptures of truth from God’s Word. What JOY! What HOPE! Our burdens are removed, and we can look up and see the goodness of the Lord.
Come today, and give all your burdens to the Lord Jesus Christ. Call upon His name and He will answer you. (Romans 10:13) He will become your REST.
~ Joanne and Sarah