ODJ: resting in Jesus

January 27, 2016 

READ: Matthew 11:25-30 

Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls (v.29).

American journalist James Surowiecki recently wrote this interesting quote: “Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.”

How many of us would agree that the technology that was supposed to make our lives easier can make an experience that’s the exact opposite?

When I think about this phenomenon, Matthew 11 and the “rest” that Jesus offers us comes to mind (v.28). He invites all those who have “heavy burdens” to come to Him so that He can give them rest—but the rest He offers is a yoke, seemingly another burden! (v.29). How are we supposed to find rest by taking another burden upon our shoulders? There’s an implication we often overlook in this passage: that Jesus means for us to put down our burden and take up His in its place— discovering that His burden is easier and lighter in comparison! This sense of putting down our first burden is more clearly captured in 1 Peter 5:7, which tells us to cast or throw our burdens on Jesus because He cares for us.

This is so often why I fail to find rest in Christ—because I don’t lay down my worldly burden but try to carry both at the same time. And it’s little wonder that I feel weary in my life. But in order to experience the rest of Christ that is described here, I must put down my first burden and take up Jesus’ light yoke, resting in Him and His power. For He is “humble and gentle at heart” (Matthew 11:29).

—Peter Chin

365-day-plan: Genesis Genesis 43:1-34

Read Matthew 16:24-25 to see how we are supposed to gain our lives by first losing them! 
Why is the yoke that Christ offers us light and easy compared to that of the world? What does it mean for you to lay down your burdens before Him?