Yoke Ourselves with Jesus Christ

What is a yoke and why do we want to be yoked to Christ?

From Matthew 11:28-30 we read:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laded, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest until your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

A yoke is beam of wood fitted to 2 ox’s shoulders that maximize the pulling force, but also offer the least pain and most comfort to the ox. To function properly they are fitted for the particular ox. And when yoked together they can accomplish so much more than they can alone.

I love the imagery of this scripture of coming to Christ in this way,  but have always been bothered a bit about Him saying His yoke is easy.

What do you mean His yoke is easy? 

He suffered in the garden for all of us, endured a false trial, friends betrayal, and other injustices throughout his short life. And in the end he gave up his life on the cross in a barbaric matter.

How could His yoke be easy and His burden light?

Then I had a new thought—a switch in perspective.

Maybe He means that if we come to Him during our life, His yoke is easier than if we go at it alone.

If we try to go through our own trials, burdens, sins, and difficulties by ourselves—making choices alone, that definitely could be more difficult than if we have someone to share them with.

If we turn our burdens over to Him, that burden—that load—that yoke becomes lighter.  Not from any doing of our own, but because of what he did for us—and continues to do.

As we share the yoke with him, we maximize what we can do together and minimize the pain in doing so. And that yoke is perfectly matched to our own needs individually.

A burden that was overwhelming or perhaps impossible for one to bear could be equitably and comfortably borne by two bound together with a common yoke. His yoke requires a great and earnest effort, but for those who truly are converted, the yoke is easy and the burden becomes light.

Howard W. Hunter Oct 1990

Don’t go at it alone. 

Invite Christ to be part of your burdens.  Share his yoke—take it upon you—and you will find great peace and rest.

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