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. MATTHEW 11:28-30 (ESV)
Recite using the acronym:
C T M , A W L A A H L , A I W G Y R . T M Y U Y , A L F M , F I A G A L I H , A Y W F R F Y S . F M Y I E , A M B I L . ” MATTHEW 11:28-30
(We missed the hilighted letter in this weeks bracelet. MORE HERE)
Read Full Passage HERE
At first glance, this verse seems to contain a major contradiction from Jesus. “Come to me, you who labor, and I will give you rest, but also take on my yoke.” And yes, a yoke is an instrument of labor or work. So in the same thought, Christ is saying He will give us rest from work and tie us to Himself under an instrument of work. How can we reconcile this apparent contradiction? To understand this further, I want to challenge what may be your innate belief of what safe freedom is.
True freedom isn’t found in simply doing whatever you please. Instead, it’s found in following the path and wisdom of the one who has your best interest in mind and who withholds no good thing from you. To understand this better, think of a child at a playground. Within the boundaries of the wood chips, the child is free to do as they please within reason. Run, play and be free. This is because there is immense safety from their parent's watchful eye that deeply cares for them. On the contrary, if the child decides freedom is found in going outside the wood chips into the woods or surrounding neighborhood, they may wander off and soon discover that the freedom they desire has come at a cost. They will realize their perception of freedom outside their boundaries has actually led them to a place of danger, and they will become lost and far off from the protection and safety of their guardian.
The yoke of Christ spoken of in Matthew 11 can be further understood through this illustration. The safety and freedom of Christ come with boundaries. Which means true freedom is not merely taking off the yoke of sin or the world but ultimately replacing it with a yoke of freedom and protection. Through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit, we are freed from the law of sin and death ( Rom 8:2 ); we are no longer slaves but children. Children, however, who still live in a broken, fallen world that without proper direction and safety will wander off to danger (perceiving it as freedom).
Freedom is not a license to do whatever we want. On the contrary, it leads to moral transformation and spiritual joy-filled freedom in the presence and safety of Christ. Additionally, I want to point out that the same freedom in Christ that frees us from the bondage of the law is the same freedom that should produce in us a devotion to it.
So there is no contradiction here. Jesus calls you to throw off the yoke you have placed upon yourself. This doesn't just look like sin, but it also looks like self-sufficiency, such as trying to be good enough or disciplined enough to deserve God’s favor and saving power. In throwing off this yoke, He isn’t calling you to now live without conviction or obedience, but calling you to Himself, under His yoke of discipleship where you learn from Him. The proof of His yoke being easy and burden-free is that the end goal of His yoke has already been accomplished in His work on the cross. He fulfilled the requirement of what is needed to be reconciled with the Father. The first yoke was one of obligation and bondage, but the second and better yoke is one of rest and safety that produces a response of faithfulness and freedom.
Finally, we must note that although believers experience freedom on this earth, it is merely a foretaste of our inheritance and freedom to come. Our final liberation is yet to come when we receive the full adoption as sons and daughters when even creation will be freed from its bondage and decay and brought into the glorious freedom forever. Because ultimate freedom is to be found on the day that we are united with the presence of God in paradise, we are also able to experience relative freedom here in this broken world if we are to lay down our own lives and surrender to the life of true restful freedom found in the easy yoke of our savior. So, take off the heavy burden of your sin and put on the light and easy burden that is salvation.