"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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. Fo my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)
Come to me. Take my yoke. Learn from me. Find rest.
Jesus calls every single person that will to come to him. No matter your background. No matter your heritage. No matter your race. Even if you are a Patriots fan. Jesus calls everyone to come to him. See Jesus is good enough right there. He gives peace to the brokenhearted. He gives love to the hated. Jesus gives eternal life to those that don't deserve it. But Jesus doesn't stop with coming to him. He goes further.
Jesus says to take his yoke. A yoke is basically a harness or collar that you put on two animals to pull something. Jesus says to take his yoke. He wants us to hook ourselves up to his yoke and pull with him. This is interesting, because at first look we may think that we carry our side, Jesus carries his. Which may be true if the passage stopped there. But it doesn't.
Jesus goes on to say "learn from me." I'm no farmer, but apparently back in the day people would hook up a young ox or mule to a seasoned one on the same yoke. They would do this so that the young ox would learn from the old one. The reality of the situation, though, is that the younger ox isn't pulling much weight, if any at all. He's just learning from the older one. The older one was pulling the majority of the weight.
See, Jesus says to take his yoke and find rest in him, because he is the older ox. Jesus took on the ultimate yoke- the cross. Jesus took the weight we couldn't carry- our sins (where we fall short of God's perfection). Jesus carries the weight, so that we can rest in him.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again so that you and I can rest in new life in him. He carried the weight of our sins into the grave, so that we could rest in his salvation.
The yoke is Jesus' to carry. In fact, he already carried it, buried it, and killed it. Our job is to rest in him.
What are you carrying that Jesus actually died for? Are you trying to be better to earn salvation? Are you leaning on your own righteousness? Are you just hoping that your good works outweigh your bad? Are you tired from the stress of life?
The yoke is Jesus'. Let him carry it. It's our job to rest in him.