by: Carole L. Haines
The Bible has a tale of two yokes, one slave and one free. Jesus speaks of the yoke in Matthew 11:28-30.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
And The apostle Paul speaks of a yoke in Galatians 5:1.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore, keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
It seems we are destined to bear a yoke of some kind, either slavery or freedom. Paul puts it this way in the Book of Romans:
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:20-23)
“When you were slaves to sin,” that was the state we were in when Christ drew us to Himself. We were slaves to sin. We may have thought we were free, but we most certainly were not. Christ set us free from the yoke of slavery. The yoke is defined as, “a coupling, (literally) the beam of the balance (as connecting the scales, pair of balances, yoke. We are either yoked to sin or we are yoked to Christ. But Christ puts it as an invitation. He does not force His yoke on us, we need to choose it. Sin is our natural state, but Freedom is ours in Jesus Christ. Freedom is defined here as, freedom from the dominion of corrupt desires, so that we do by the free impulse of the soul what the will of God is (definitions taken from Strong’s Concordance).
Jesus promises us freedom when we choose His yoke. He promises rest for our souls. He promises an easy yoke and a light burden. What is so wearying for us, in our natural state, is the Burden of our own sins. We feel that draw, that yoke, to do the wrong things. But Jesus is calling us to take off that yoke, through repentance and belief in Him, and put on His yoke of freedom, which leads to forgiveness, rest and solace. Have you chosen Christ yet? I can tell you from many years of walking with Him, His yoke truly is easy, and His burden is light. I have found rest for my soul. Come to Christ and find rest for yours.