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Is The Yoke On You?
Finding Rest for Your Soul
What are the heavy burdens that you carry today? Have you been longing for rest from these unbearable loads? Do you yearn to be set free from all the dos and don’ts that constantly badger you? Do you feel hopelessly beyond forgiveness?
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 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” (Mt 11:28-30).
A yoke is a wooden frame designed to fit over the shoulders of two oxen that are harnessed so that they can pull a plow in tandem. In Bible times, a farmer would employ the practice of yoking a mature ox with a young ox side-by-side. This approach would allow the younger ox a firsthand lesson from the older ox how to pull the plow. And as the work commenced, it was the strength of the older ox that literally pulled the entire load. The rookie ox simply kept with the pace of its seasoned partner. In time, the young ox would eventually pull his own weight. But for the moment, his job was to ‘learn the ropes’ and follow the older ox’s lead. The young ox may think that he is sharing the load, but it is the older ox that is actually doing all the work.
When I traded the yoke of the law for Jesus’ yoke, I not only learned from Him, but also found rest for my soul. The religious leaders interpreted and enforced the Law of Moses. They burdened the people of God to obey His commandments by loading them down with their self-imposed rules and regulations. Jesus, on the other hand, invited me to learn and love the Person who gave these commandments in the first place. One promotes a rigid religion while the latter fosters a real relationship.
Do you share in that same weary and burdensome condition today? Are you sensing restlessness in your spirit? Like the curse of Cain have you become a renegade on the run, driven away from the presence of God, and going nowhere fast? “Today you have driven me away from the soil, and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth…” (Gen 4:14) God doesn’t abandon us to a life condemned to wander in a weary world that brings forth thorns and thistles (Gen 3:18), hardships and heartaches. Cain recognized his sin and separation by crying out to God, “My punishment is greater than I can bear!” (Gen 4:14)
Jesus said, “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away” (Jn 6:37). Jesus longs to meet you where you hurt. He seeks to restore those who are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mt 9:36). He offers us the comfort of a loving relationship under His yoke of learning. Is the yoke on you? If not, won’t you come to Him?
Copyright 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.