Rest is something that we all long for. We try to take vacations or even just find a place to where we can get away to find it. In Matthew 11:28 it says: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” You see we are all laboring to try and find rest but the more we labor to find it the more we become heavy laden or burden down. So to avoid this we must understand what true rest is.
After studying this I have come to realize that this passage is not just talking about a physical rest but a more complete rest. This type of rest most importantly gives a spiritual rest that produces a contentment and purpose that produce a physical rest for our minds and hearts. In Verse 29 Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls”. You see Jesus tells us to take on his yoke and to learn from Him. What we learn from Him is this. Jesus still had a yoke to bare. A yoke was a weighted wooden mechanism that was put over the heads of oxen to plow the ground. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He would be despised and rejected. Scripture says that He came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 11:1). He was going to die on the cross of Calvary not because of anything that He had done wrong but because of all of our wrongs. Scripture says that it was for the joy that was set before Him that he endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2).
We then read in Matthew 11:30 these words “For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. How can Jesus say that His Yoke is easy and His burden is light? Well you see Jesus understood where His rest came from. He knew that His rest came from a relationship with the Father and a mindset that He was placed here to do the will of the Father. He could say that His Yoke was easy because He found rest in doing the will of the Father. He could say that His burden was light because He didn’t look at doing the work that the Father sent Him for as a grievous thing. He found rest or contentment by working for the Father. See Jesus didn’t find rest from avoiding His work but by accomplishing the work the Father sent Him for.
Jesus said to take His yoke upon us and to learn from Him. What I have learned is that though taking a physical rest to recharge is needed it is not lasting. We will soon be right back with a heavy yoke and a heavy burden. Where we will find true rest and contentment is not from ceasing to stop working but in doing the will of the Father. Being a Christian is not easy. In fact it can be very hard emotionally and physically but truly rewarding and restful when we work to bring glory to the Father. Then and only then will we find rest for our souls. Just like Jesus promised.
I pray that you find rest.
The writer is the pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Sidney.