Releasing Our Burden

Matthew 11:28-30
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The crowd of people parts, and there stands Jesus looking right at us, wanting us to come to Him, to rely only on Him, to trust fully in Him in the midst of the crowded, jumbled chaos of the world around us. What an awful, heavy weight we bear, for every man born into this world carries the burden of his own sinfulness and his own unrighteousness. Then, too, he carries the prospect of punishment for those deeds he feels he cannot help but do, the guilt of being wrong and not knowing how to be right. It is from this burden that Jesus first releases us when at last we come to Him.

It seems an unfair exchange at first. We place our heavy load of sin and darkness and every evil deed, every wicked thought upon Him, and He gives us rest. He gives us freedom from that weight upon our shoulders, release from the shackles that kept us chained, peace in an anxious heart. At first we eagerly dump our entire load upon Him as He asks. But maybe later, we start to take some of these things back from Him, try to handle them ourselves, try to carry them without His help.

But Jesus proved His power over sin, death, hell, the grave. We no longer walk alone. We’re yoked together with Christ, and He’s taken the greater portion upon Himself because only He could bear it. He’s shown us how to live, and all we have to do is learn from Him and follow after His ways. We can go side by side with Jesus to serve Him and do the work required. And no matter where He calls us or what he requires of us, He offers us sweet rest with Him.

Jesus’ cry to everyone everywhere has always been, “Come.” We come first to receive salvation. We come back to receive forgiveness. We come often to find rest. We come with struggles to find help. We come with brokenness to find healing. We come with emptiness to be filled. We come near to gain strength. We come close to seek wisdom. We come with thankful hearts to praise Him. We come with love to serve Him. We come in humility to honor Him. He is standing there waiting for us, wanting us. Let’s just go to Him, learn of Him, and find our rest in Him.

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