October 16 I Friday
1 Thessalonians 4
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you…with regard to a religious festival…or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” —Colossians 2:16-17
What is Paul teaching in the opening verse of this devotion? He explains that the Sabbath is a shadow of the reality. We can kick a shadow and it will not feel our kick. The substance is something else, which Paul points to as Christ.
Yet, how does the Sabbath point to Christ as the reality? The idea of the Sabbath is rest for our body and soul. Although some of us may associate rest with death, as a typical epitaph message writes, “Rest in Peace,” this is not the type of rest Christ gives when He said, “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. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus gives an invitation for our inner self, our real person, to find strength and rest in Him.
We can go to Jesus and find rest as we take His yoke upon us and learn from Him. A yoke is what a farmer would use to join two animals together around the neck. The idea is to yoke a strong animal with a weak animal, where the yoke would be adjusted so that both carried the same sense of burden. Otherwise, the strong animal would turn the whole thing in a corner. Therefore, if we want the animals to go straight, we would adjust the yoke so that both are able to go together feeling they are carrying the same burden, even though the strong animal is carrying the greater part and the weak animal is carrying the lesser part.
We find rest when we harness ourselves to Jesus, synchronizing our life with Him, where His schedules become our schedules, His agenda becomes our agenda, His priorities become our priorities and His plans become our plans. By taking His yoke, we will discover two things. Firstly, that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, because Jesus is the stronger one between us. Secondly, He teaches us how to be gentle and meek like Him.
The rest for our soul is not an isolated thing we can detach from the rest of the Christian life and somehow find rest. True rest is when we bring our life under the yoke of Christ. Would we bring our burdens to Christ and surrender them at His feet as we take up His yoke and learn from Him?
Prayer: Jesus Christ, thank You that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. I cast my burden upon You and I want to synchronize my life with Yours. Praise You!