Monday, July 11, 2011

Living in Freedom - Bound but Free (Week 2)

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus gives us hope for overcoming a burdened, tired existence:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.
As a child in Sunday school, I memorized these verses, and I have to admit that the phrase "take my yoke" was never very appealing to me. 

My dad grew up on a farm, so words like hitching, wagon, plow, and mule are all familiar to me in a distant sort of way.  I know enough about yokes to know that they're heavy and constraining.  I have no desire to stick my head in one of those hoop-thingees.

However, if Jesus says I should do it, what does he mean? Would Jesus ask me in my "weary, heavy-laden" state to do something to make me more miserable?  Since that doesn't sound like Jesus, I must be missing something.  There has to be something good for me in this.

I found the good when I looked at the purpose of the yoke.  In farming, a yoke creates a synergy between two animals and gives them a common task and a common destination.

So it is when I am yoked to Jesus.  I find freedom in being bound to him.  Why would I not want to be connected to the source of strength. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.  The yoke represents his plan for my life.  I can rest knowing that there is a path laid out for me and he will guide the way.  He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3.  I know that the burdened life is not the conclusion of my story.  He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6.

Now it makes sense to me how Jesus could say that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.  How about you?  Do you find yourself carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders?  Take a look at Jesus' offer and find rest for your soul.

Check out the song Find Rest from my friend, Bryan Pound.

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