TEEN TREE OF LIFE
The Lord Jesus Christ’s Offer of Rest - Part 4
June 12, 2022
Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find [a resting place] rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.” (MATT 11:29-30 New American Standard Bible)
According to what the apostle Matthew wrote in this translation of MATT 11:29-30, The Lord Jesus Christ’s Offer of Rest includes a new yoke. So, although he is offering a rest, notice there still is a yoke involved. Now, a yoke was a device that was placed upon an animal so that it could pull its load more comfortably and effectively. It was made out of wood and carved to fit the individual animal. That would provide part of the comfort. Since the yoke would distribute the weight of its load more evenly, it would make it both easier and more comfortable to pull.
Do you remember what a metaphor is? It’s a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is used to describe one thing in terms of another in a nonliteral way, such as "drowning in work." The word metaphor comes from an ancient Greek word that meant "to transfer or carry over to something else." When you use a metaphor, it is as though you are taking the word for one thing and transferring it to another thing that you perceive to be like the first thing.
The term yoke was often used as a metaphor for submission. In particular, it was used of students who attached themselves to a teacher to learn from him. For example, the ancient Jewish advice to students was, “Put your neck under the yoke and let your soul receive instruction.” The yoke in MATT 11:29-30 symbolizes obedience to Jesus Christ which includes learning His Ways and following them. To take on the yoke of The Lord Jesus Christ is to become His disciple, and in following Him, you will find a release from the heavy burden of sin that makes you weary. And in doing so, you will find rest in following His Plan for your life.
The Message Bible’s translation of MATT 11:29-30 is quite amazing! It reads: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (The Message Bible) Those translators chose not to use the word yoke, however, they use the words “I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you” which actually describes how a yoke works. Don’t you love the way these translators chose to word The Lord Jesus Christ’s Offer to make it sound so much like the way we talk today?
In both translations, it’s clear that the reward of Our Savior’s Offer’s is rest for our soul. The reward is also a change of masters, and a change of life. Jesus is no taskmaster. He is Gentle and Humble in Heart. His Yoke is easy – meaning it is Suitable and Pleasant. It’s not difficult to bear. His Yoke does not afflict. The load of following Our Lord’s Commands in comparison to following the schemes of man, or even your own way, is light. A better fitting yoke and a lighter burden would be a wonderful reward all by itself, but Jesus also gives us rest for our souls, too!
There are several different aspects of the rest which Our Lord will give us. First, there is the sense in which there is a stop of action, motion, labor, or exertion. All efforts at earning your own salvation cease. That impossible burden is removed, so you can be at rest. Second, this rest involves freedom from that anything that makes you weary or disturbed. Spiritually, Jesus Christ gives those that come to Him freedom from the cares and distress that would rob them of peace and joy. This rest includes the peace that passes all understanding that comes from being able to bring everything to Him in prayer. Our Lord’s Peace is discussed by the apostle Paul in PHIL 4:6-7 (New International Reader’s Version): …God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds. He will do this because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood.
A third aspect of His Rest is that it’s fixed and settled. To rest in The Lord Jesus Christ includes the wonderful assurance that your eternal destiny is secure in Him. Your soul is no longer bothered by the uncertainties brought up by the philosophies of man or the ideas expressed in the various false religions and cults. You have the confident assurance that The Lord Jesus Christ keeps all of His promises including being with Him throughout Eternity, and with that, there no longer has to be fear – even of death. What comfort for the soul!
A fourth aspect is that rest also speaks of being confident and trustful. Jesus Christ gives us God’s Rest and that not only assures us of Eternity with Him, but also of what Paul wrote so eloquently to the Philippian Church that “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (PHIL 1:6 The Message Bible) Our Savior’s Yoke gives your life meaning in both the present and for Eternity. The quest of the soul for meaning and purpose is given rest.
Finally, rest describes being able to “lean, repose, or depend upon.” The rest that Our Savior gives includes being made a fellow heir with Him and a child of God. Our Heavenly Father will certainly supply all of our needs as we learn in PHIL 4:19 (New International Reader’s Version): My God will meet all your needs. He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches. These riches come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus. He will take care of us and the rest He offers is part of doing so.
If you have not yet entered into the rest that The Lord Jesus Christ offers, then be assured that the offer is being made to you right now. You will need to be humble enough to realize that you are a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. You need Him to release you from the burdens of guilt, shame, confusion, and fear that you are carrying – all those things that are part of life without Him. The Revelation has been made to you simply in reading this study, through God’s very Word. If you understand what you have been reading, then Jesus Christ has revealed Himself to you.
Jesus Christ lived as man in the way that God desires all His children to live – in with humility and in complete dependence upon Him. He lived the way a man is called to live, in order to demonstrate to us how we should live so that we might know Him intimately, and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent.
The only way to live the Christian life is in total reliance upon The Lord, clinging to Him by faith - admitting our helplessness and trusting on His sufficient strength.
The Lord Jesus Christ’s entire life was spent trusting entirely in God, and He did only those things that He heard from The Father. In the same way, when we take His Yoke upon us and learn to live in continuous dependence upon Him, we too shall find rest for our souls, for His Yoke is easy and His Burden is light.