Come to me, all 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."
In a yoke, two animals are harnessed together to collectively pull a weight that they might struggle to pull alone. One animal is subjected to the other and must work at the pace of the other. The stronger ox or the stronger horse leads the weaker as they pull.
Jesus saw that the people he was ministering to felt pulled and rushed along by the overwhelming burdens of the Jewish legal system, not only by all the Old Testament laws but also by all of the extra laws that the Pharisees just simply made up. To add, the people of Jesus' time were also subjected to heavy Roman laws and Roman taxes.
Knowing their burden, Jesus said, "Simply come to me. I won’t tug you along. I won’t drag you behind." When we take his yoke and his burden on, we cast off the burden we’ve been carrying. A burden of bitterness, a burden of substance abuse, a burdensome abusive relationship, the burden of old hurt…
I can cast my burdens off and take up the simple burden of loving Christ.
It’s difficult to do this in our own power. In fact, we can’t. We can't forgive people in our own power. We can't kick that addiction in our own power. We can't deny that relationship in our own power. We can't walk in a way that honors God in our own power.
Only in Christ will we find rest for our burdened souls. He beckons us to let him pull the weight of our former lives, and he pulls that weight to the cross, where our hurt and our sin and our shame and our addiction and our burden is crucified with him.
Also, Happy Halloween! I hope everyone has a safe, awesome day. Oh and happy Reformation Day to you homeschoolers.