Matthew 11:28-30, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (28) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (29) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (30) As beautiful and comforting as these verses are to the believer, they are equally as beautiful and comforting to the unbeliever. I noticed that Christ stated that there are three things one must do to come to Him. Three symbolizes the godhead - the Trinity. How fitting that these three steps are depicted in this light.
1. Come unto Jesus - Jesus is the only way to Heaven for the lost. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Joh 14:6) There is no other way - there is no other person (dead or alive) who can claim this. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:12) No matter what any religion preaches, the fact of the matter is that Jesus is the only way to Heaven - not your good deeds, not Allah, not Buddha, not John Smith!
To the born-again believer, this statement confirms that we can continually go to Jesus for all our needs, all our future sins, all our problems and all our concerns. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Ti 2:5) We have no need to pray to Mary or pray to the saints - we can go straight to God Himself, Christ Jesus! Furthermore, when we sin, we can go to Christ Himself, not some priest in a confessional. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 Jo 2:1) Jesus is our attorney, if you will, who defends us before a Righteous and Holy God. God demands payment and justice for sins. Jesus stands before His Father as your Attorney and says, "Father, I have paid the penalty for my child with My Blood." The Father sees our sin no more but only the blood of His Son. No priest, no saint or anyone else for that matter can fill these shoes, my friend. Praise God that we can still come to Jesus!
2. Take His yoke upon you: Have you ever seen a yoke? Notice that there are two openings. Jesus is telling the unbeliever that the sinner is in one part of the yoke and Jesus is in the other part. Again, Jesus is the only way to Heaven. I love how a yoke is placed between the head and the heart! How symbolic that is to me. One needs to hear the Gospel and believe it with his heart before he can be saved. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Rom 10:10) One can only be righteous if he puts on the righteousness of Christ.
For the believer, we can look at the yoke and see that Christ carries our burdens with us. We are not alone in our walk on this earth. He is there right along side of us - like the beautiful Footprints story. Furthermore, when you look at the yoke, you can see that if one turns to the right, the other must turn to the right. We are guided by the Holy Spirit of God Himself! What a blessed portrayal of God's love for us!
3. Learn from Him: It is so sad that mankind turns to self-help books, to gurus, to religious leaders instead of to Jesus' Word. Jesus said to learn from Him! Jesus provided us with the Bible, His very words, whereby to learn and grow. So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17) Notice that Rom. 10:17 does not say faith comes by a self-help book, or Dr. Phil, or John Smith. It says that faith comes by the Word of God. Jesus is the Word. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Joh 1:1) and For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. (1 Jo 5:7) Christ provided the written Word of God so that we would be able to find true salvation through Him. What more does one need?
To the believer, we are encouraged to learn from Him. Don't substitute man-written books and devotionals for God's Holy Word. It is the Word that will cleanse us. It is the Word that convicts us and grows us. It is the Word that prevents us from being misled by false doctrine. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Ti 2:15)
As a result of coming to Christ, we are promised rest. The unbeliever finds rest through salvation and the born-again believer finds rest because he is not alone in his pilgrimage on earth. Jesus said that His yoke is easy. Have you ever tried to lift a yoke? I have! It is not light at all. In fact, I could barely lift it. But Christ says His yoke is easy and it is light. That means that the burden of sin has been taken on by Jesus and that this burden is not on our shoulders any longer. We also know that although He has taken on the burden of our sins, He also carries our burdens in life, right along side of us.
This is a beautiful depiction of how the Saviour not only delivers us from sin but continues to carry our burdens with us so we are not alone. ... and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:20b)
Thank you for this series these past couple of months. What a blessing they have been to my soul.
60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible