Jesus spoke to people who had given up on religion. People who were burned out trying—and failing—to observe a long list of rules and regulations. Here is what He told them: ‘If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to Me and I will give you rest. Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from Me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest. This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.’ (Matthew 11:28–30 CEV)
The ‘yoke’ Jesus spoke of was a harness that went around the necks of two oxen so they could pull the plough in the same direction. In each team of oxen, one was the leader and the other would follow. There is an important lesson here—don’t miss it. Jesus will take the lead, but you must stay in sync with Him to enjoy His blessing on your life. He promises His yoke won’t choke you; it won’t be wearisome or confining, and you won’t chafe under it. In fact, if you want to be truly free, you must let yourself be yoked to Jesus by submitting your will to His.
But it doesn’t work to accept Christ’s yoke for a while and then start pulling the other way when things don’t go the way you want. When you do, the load gets heavier and you start to feel worn out. Peace and rest come when you relax in the yoke and let Christ lead. Jesus said, ‘You will find rest.’ That means your options are to resist Him or to rest in Him! Which will it be?