28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

29 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. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

We’ve all known the Law to be burdensome. 

At times, the rules hang over our heads—they loom like constant reminders of checkmarks and to-do lists. Sometimes when we read the Ten Commandments, we are reminded of our inadequacy. 

Yet both the blessing and the burden of the Law is that it reminds us of our inability to fulfill it, hence our need for Jesus. And just as Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, He is the reliever of it as well: He gives us rest.

The Christian life is not one of checklists and bottom lines and red ink—it’s one of highlighters and erasers and second chances. We need not be paranoid if we’re following all of the rules; we need to persistently rest in the finished work of Christ for our purity.

“Weary and heavy-laden” suggests the daily labor of carrying a pack on one’s back. We are tired travelers from carrying the burden of perfectionism. 

Yet Jesus reminds us that He does not expect perfection, He expects devotion: “For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6). Jesus equates the Christian life with rest from spiritual striving. In describing His provision for rest, Jesus calls people not to the Law but to Himself. Rather than finding our rest in our ability to keep the Law, Jesus invites us to find rest in Him, the One who kept the Law on our behalf. 

Rather than thinking we please God by keeping the Sabbath—and all of the other rules—we please God by resting in Christ, who is our new Sabbath. This is the reason that Jesus and His disciples could confidently pluck grain on the Sabbath—because they found their rest in the One who created it (see Luke 6:1-5).

  • What does Jesus mean by taking up His “yoke”? What does He mean by the “rest” He promises to those who do?
  • What kinds of things in your life—even seemingly “spiritual” things—might tempt you to find your identity and sanctification in places other than Jesus?
  • Praise Jesus for being your true rest.