Are you tired? My guess is you are. Tired of work, the news, conflict, struggles, and paying bills, maybe it’s your age or life’s little mundane chores!
Life can be a chore with no end in store. It doesn’t take much to wear us down. Wouldn’t it be nice to lie down in green pastures for a while? Wouldn’t it be nice to lie down and get up feeling refreshed?
Sometimes we feel rested at other times not. That’s the way life goes. But what if there was a place to find permanent rest? Would you go there?
I bet you would, and in all honesty there’s such a place! It’s not far, but near. In fact, you’ve been invited there! So where is it? Jesus tells us, “Come to Me, all ye that labor 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 for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matt. 11:28 – 30 KJV) Sounds good to me! Jesus gives us rest!
Does He mean, however, no more work, bills or chores? Sorry, that’s not it. He is saying though that we don’t have to work hard to go to heaven. You know, thinking we have to do something good to get there. So be honest, you’ve thought, even been taught that God will take you to heaven because you are such a good person. You’ve tried to be good, however, love too, but honestly that hasn’t always worked out, right.
None of us is perfect, and Red Bull won’t give us the right wings nor will any of those super spiritual drinks offered by those preaching that heaven is just a few more good deeds away. Nor can we argue Jesus expects us to work for our salvation because He says, “Take my yoke upon you.”
It’s true; in days past animals were yoked together to make work easier which in one respect means Jesus is there to pull along with us. But He’s still not saying we have to work for our salvation. But rather, being yoked means learning about what He did for us on His cross where He shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins. That’s why He said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” The point being Jesus wants us to learn about His free gift of grace, that is, how He paid the price for our sins and how He doesn’t expect us to work to earn a place in heaven.
We can “rest” therefore from thinking we have to work to earn our salvation. And that yoke is easy since Jesus bore all our sins upon His cross as He says, “My yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
Far too many though think that to be a Christian means giving up their life to become a monk or something, but that’s not true, although Jesus wants us to follow His commands. We cannot for instance just go about sinning with abandon denying what He says about living a Christian life. So He says this about His yoke, “For I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Jesus was humble and obedient to His heavenly Father and from Him we learn what obedience means. And obedience for us means resting peacefully in His work of salvation. It’s a rest you see that comes from trusting in Jesus and what He has done to make us right before God through His sacrifice on the Cross. No one can give you His rest, you cannot choose it either. Faith is a gift that comes by hearing Jesus Word that reveals what He did for us on His cross where we find the much needed rest we are all looking for, the rest that says because He is perfect, we don’t have to be perfect to be saved!
So like I said, Jesus isn’t far, His rest is near, so hear His invitation to receive the rest He offers you. God’s Blessings! Pastor Les Uhrinak – Mission of the Cross Lutheran Church – Crosslake MN