Matthew 11:28-30: “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.”
We all long for rest. That longing is natural, but it is there to be found in Christ. Matthew chapter 11 gives us some great insight into how this happens. There are three things that stand out from the text that I hope to encourage you with this week.
We know that God has not created robots that will automatically worship and depend on him. We are made in the image of God to worship, but that reality has been tainted by sin (stemming from the Garden Fall). One of the products of sin is laboring, carrying heavy “ladens” or great burdens. Christ knows of these things and declares that we must come to him. He knows that we all will struggle, and he also knows that rest is something we are all after. Therefore, when you come, Christ promises that he will “give you rest.”
So, the first step in your pain and desperation is to come. He is desiring to be found and will bring the rest you need.
When we come to Christ, he desires to give you something. That something is himself! When we allow Christ to work in our lives, we learn how he navigated sorrow and despair. The text tells us that Christ will teach us how it is done. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me…” He is the teacher and we are the students. He gives us a choice. We can either carry our own yoke or “take” Christ’s. It's not whether we carry a yoke, but what kind do you want to carry? Either way, it is still a yoke. It weighs and costs something to carry.
Christ goes onto say that he is “gentle and lowly in heart…” We will be tempted to labor and give in to anxiety and despair, but as I Corinthians 10:13 says, “we will not be tempted more than we can bear.” So, we must Come and Take Christ and let him provide what only his yoke can do.
3. Find Rest…
His yoke then produces rest. That is it. It does not require more of us. We “put on” Christ and he brings about the needed rest and reassurance in our lives. The “you will find” is one of the most encouraging parts of this passage. Christ is not asking us to roll the dice if you will. He declares that YOU WILL find the rest that you’ve been searching for. What a great reality as we face the ups and downs of life.
This week, be thinking about how you Come to Christ, Take on Christ, and Find Rest in Christ. We are promised many glorious things, let us not forget about the joys of taking on the yoke of the one who bore our sins. Be Encouraged.