Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
You might be working long and hard, maybe in more than one job and even studying as well. Maybe you are the sole supporter of your family and the pressures are overwhelming.
Jesus says to you, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.
Jesus says in verse 29 and 30 to become “yoked” with Him and that His yoke is “easy and light”.
A yoke is a harness which a farmer uses to bind together the oxen as they toil to break up the hard ground, in preparation for planting seed. It is a deliberate choice of words by Jesus because He knows what life can be like. The build-up of responsibilities and burdens increase with age and these pressures become like a heavy yoke strapped tightly across your shoulders.
But Jesus, carrying His own cross, strapped to His shoulders, would become a picture of the release to those who would “come to Him” in faith. Jesus took upon Himself the sufferings of this world so that we, His loved-ones, would be set free.
Now Jesus did say to “carry your cross” (Matthew 16:24), but it’s not heavy and its burden is light. Carrying our cross refers more to a life of selflessness. Jesus said the yoke He places upon us is light and easy. It is God’s rest. It’s an inner rest for your soul bringing freedom from worry, fear, and condemnation.
Friend, if you feel a heavy burden upon your soul, that’s not a burden of the Lord, it is a burden of this world. God’s burdens will not weigh you down with pressure, stress, and anxiety. Rather His burden is one that brings peace, comfort, and joy into your soul as you trust in Him by faith.
To be “yoked” up with Jesus means you have received Him as Lord and Savior. You are fully devoted to Him and His ways. His way is the way of worship, thanksgiving, and praise; it's the way of grace rather than rules and works; it’s prioritizing the purposes of God over self-interest; it’s knowing that you are eternally loved by God, enabling you to love.
Understand His yoke is a yoke of grace. It’s not trying to do things in your own strength. It is not trying to earn your own salvation through goods works. It is not trying to become righteous through rules and regulations. It is a life that knows Jesus has done all this for you – so you can now rest in the knowledge of who you are in Christ.