Jesus famously promised “rest” to all those “that labor and are heavy laden.” He directed them to “[t]ake my yoke upon you,” assuring them that “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). 

What did Jesus mean when he said that His “yoke” is easy? How does turning to Him make our own burdens light? 

As many readers are probably aware, a yoke is a type of harness, usually with a wooden crossbar, that is fastened over the necks of a pair of animals, such as oxen, which allows them to pull a load together as a pair. Side by side, the two can move and work together to accomplish their task more easily.

This can be related to our relationship with Jesus Christ. As we yoke ourselves to Him, He is the strong ox that pulls most of the load while we, being weak and prone to mistakes and weaknesses on our own, are able to rely on His help and relief from the load we try to carry ourselves. Imagine that! We can be paired with our Redeemer, who has all power and can lift and carry any possible load. With Jesus working by our side, any burden we must bear would seem light!

We lead busy lives, always running from one place to the next with a seemingly never-ending list of things to do. Amid our daily lives, it can be hard to slow down and remember that we are not in this alone. We have heavenly help at our disposal and a Savior who is willing to lighten the load that we carry. Jesus invites us to embrace the peace He offers us by taking His yoke – a yoke full of peace, grace, and love – upon us. 

When we feel “heavy laden” and as if rest is nowhere to be found, let us choose to team up with the One who, through the strength of His hand, can alleviate our load. In this way, through the grace and mercy of Jesus, we will undoubtedly find His promised rest.