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Matthew 11:28-30

“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.”

“You can do it! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! If you want it, you gotta earn it! You get what you deserve. There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you just work hard enough, all your dreams can come true!” Welcome to the American Way. The only problem is, the American way is not the way to heaven…its actually the way to hell.

Jesus offered “rest,” which was the exact opposite of what the Jewish leaders offered. They piled rules and regulations on the people whereas Jesus removed them. Instead, He bore the weight of the Law Himself. Religion places a never-ending “to-do” list in front of you that will not lead you to Heaven because you can’t possibly complete the list. The best you can do regarding your own salvation is, “I hope so.” Jesus takes your “to-do” list and writes DONE across it in His own blood. Consequently, you move from “I hope so” to “I know so.”

What about the famous “yoke”? The yoke is that nasty looking wooden implement that you place over the necks of two oxen so that you can use them to pull something heavy. It represents the dreaded “S-word”…Submission. The oxen submit to the authority of the one who directs their path and so we must do the same with the Lord Jesus Christ. We take on the yoke of submission to His Lordship, to His teaching, and to His instruction. We don’t take it on as a way to earn His favor, but as a way to react to it. And Jesus? Well…He carries the load. Pretty sweet deal, huh?

It’s easy to follow the one you love, especially when they give you so much back in return. Jesus doesn’t place a burden on your back…He removes one, and in its place He gives you rest. In Him, the work isn’t beginning…the work is done. You can rest easy knowing that your future is secure, not matter how difficult the present may be. Jesus loves you despite your flaws. The world judges you for them.

His way IS easy. His burden IS light. Have you stopped trying to earn His favor, yet? Place all your trust in Him and by grace through faith…you will find rest.

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