Summary: Jesus will help ease the burdens you are carrying.
Lay Down Your Burdens
The first time I took a group of youth into the Smokey Mountains, we hiked to Abrams Falls. 2.5 mile hike each way 40 ft. big waterfall.
During our time there, one of the youth hurt leg and couldn’t walk.
No vehicles, bikes, - arm over my & other adult shoulder, carried out heavier and heavier - still can feel numbness, WHAT A BURDEN!
While in Grenada this summer, realized just how spoiled I am. Most of the people carried everything as they traveled, mostly on foot, back, arms, shoulders, HEAD - used to it, but for me BURDEN!
When I buy something, I put it in a cart, with wheels, put it in a bag and put the bag in a cart with wheels, roll it to my car, then drive it home & put it away, complain about having to carry it in the house.
WHAT A BURDEN!
Before the advent of modern farm equipment, most of the heavy work was done by oxen, horses or another strong, powerful animal.
The farmer would link the two animals together with a yoke, usually a wooden pole & U-shaped pieces that would go around the animals necks and attach to the pole. Then as a group, they would be till the soil and prepare it for planting.
These animals became known as beasts of burdens, for they were carrying the burden of the work-load for the farmer. (Not the inspiration to the Rolling Stones song, “Beast of Burden”)
Jesus, master teacher used the word-picture of these animals, says in
Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, & I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you & learn from me, for I am gentle & humble in heart,& you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy & my burden light."
Like the time when Jesus spoke with the woman at the well and offered her “living water”, here Jesus uses a physical phrase and applies a spiritual meaning to it -the word YOKE.
You see, the religious leaders of the day, (Pharisees, Scribes, etc.) had created so many man-made laws, rules and regulations about how to live on a day by day basis, that the people were overwhelmed.
That’s why Jesus said in Luke 11:46 - “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”
Jesus makes a clear distinction, between what the religious leaders of His day required and what He offered to them.
It was a very easy choice for those with an open heart and mind;
Continuous Heavy Burdens OR
Rest for the Soul.
Think about this; every other religious belief system, except Christianity is based upon some type of works system, “What you do, helps to earn your salvation”. Do this and that and this and that.
What does that produce, Heavy Burdens - I’m always left wondering if I have “done enough to be saved, accepted, or worthy?”
With Christ, it’s easy, you can never do enough to be worthy!
WAIT - That in itself is the heaviest of burdens to bear!
Don’t worry, because the good news of the gospel is this, JESUS HAS DONE THE WORK FOR YOU!
Our salvation is never derived by our “works”, Ephesians 2:8 says,
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”.
His offer to “give you rest” is still available today. In fact He wants to give it to you. He never runs out. He never grows tired of giving.
Okay, I’m sold - I want His rest, how do I get it?
1. Our Part of the Process:
Psalm 55:22 - “Cast your cares on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall”
There is no promise of being released from any difficulties, the comfort comes in knowing who is concerned about us, God Himself.
Our part is letting Him be in control of our lives, refusing to be weighed down by burdens, because they will get us down, they’ll disturb our peace and distract our mind.
It is a choice we can & should make, not based on positive thinking (believing in myself), and it’s not sticking your head in the sand (pretending there’s no problem), it’s based on WHO T/LORD IS!
I Peter 5:6-7 - “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He will lift you up in due time; Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you.”
Our part is being humble, not a passive resignation, but an active cooperation, where we allow ourselves to be humbled. We subject or put ourselves under God’s authority.