We observe that no matter who we are, Jesus invites us to come and rest in Him He says in Matthew 11:28-30:
28 …“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 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.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
There are many paradoxes in the Bible. While Jesus calls all who “carry heavy burdens,” He relieves them by replacing their heavy load with His, which “is light (verb, meaning ‘not heavy’). What does Jesus mean by these two contrasts? Why would He take away a burden to give us another, although not a heavy one?
Our Heavy Burden
We all carry a heavy burden that would destroy us but for the mercy of God. Who among us hasn’t at one time or another violated our conscience? Who hasn’t lied or haboured wrong thoughts and desires? Who among us hasn’t offended a fellow human being or God? Who hasn’t felt guilty internally by some action or inaction? Yes, we all fell short of God’s holy standard. We have all sinned. This shouldn’t be difficult for us to admit, in harmony with the scriptures:
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. – Romans 3:23
Sin is a burden. Imagine someone knocks at your door and you peep to see two police officers on your doorsteps. What goes through your mind? It all depends on who you are and what you’ve been doing with your life. If for some unfortunate reason you’ve committed a crime or have inadvertently done something illegal, you’d probably have some deep-seated fear of arrest or reprimand. This is a burden. On the other hand, if you haven’t disobeyed the laws, you might be curious and a bit worried at their presence, but you’d likely be confident to open the door and have a chat with them… at least in the UK.
The bad news about sin is not only the guilt we carry but the fear of punishment. And, yes, that fear is legitimate, for our loving Lord is also a just Lord. Romans 6:23 declares, For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The good news about the Saviour is that He is merciful and forgiving. He calls us to drop our burden at the foot of the cross since He has paid the cost of our sinfulness by His vicarious death for us. Salvation from the guilt and punishment of sin is free for anyone who believes, anyone! You may be an old miser like Scrooge or thief on the cross. You may be a prostitute like Mary Magdalene or Rahab. You may have engaged in sexual impurity like David or even caused the death of others. You may have been walking with the Lord and then fell astray like Solomon, whose wives turned his heart from the Lord. Yet, God loves YOU.
For this is how God loved the world: He gave] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
You still live in this world, so you are specially loved by God. This is good news indeed! Accept God’s offer of pardon and salvation today! Believe in Jesus and receive eternal life! If you once walked with the Lord, come back, He still loves you and will receive you. He never rejects anyone as long as you’re still in this world and would return to Him.
Our Light Burden
Jesus promises to give us a light burden. He gives us a new or renewed command to love God above all else and our fellow human beings as ourselves He says this is the essence of all laws. John the beloved, who was especially close to Jesus when He was on earth declares:
Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3
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