I was part of a group of musicians that sang and played two songs for church on Good Friday. If the thought of singing in front of people with a microphone in your hand is enough to make your hands sweat as you feel like you may pass out, you can somewhat understand my predicament. (If you've known me for any amount of time you know I have a knack for getting myself in all kinds of situations.) I won't belabor the point except to say I was, of the four singers and three musicians in the front of the church, easily the one with the least musical ability. While this could be a sore spot, to me it was a refuge. I understood that even if I messed up, the rest of the group could and would carry the song.
Which got me to thinking on Good Friday, of the sweet deal we have in Christ. Jesus said, "Come to me. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me...For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (parts of Matthew 11:28-30).
When two oxen were yoked together, they shared the load of pulling the plow. If one ox was injured, the other would have to do all the work. That's how most of life is. If a co-worker is sick we have to work extra hours to help out until the co-worker is on the mend. We work together as a family. If one member of the family is down, we all have to compensate. If a member moves away or dies, we are left with a bigger share of the chores.
Not so with our relationship with Jesus. He says his yoke is easy and His burden is light. Jesus did all the work with His life, death and resurrection. Even if we wanted to somehow earn our way to heaven, we are too sinful to make it happen.
If He does all the work why bother with the yoke? The yoke was a tool that kept the oxen working together and going in the same direction. If we're yoked to Jesus, we're not wandering off course or getting lost or into trouble. Even when trouble comes, He's there to shoulder the load. Left on our own we'd surely make a mess of things and get off track and have no hope of recovering.
Being yoked with Jesus is like surrounding yourself with people who make you look better than you are, who assure you of success. It takes the fear out of what would otherwise terrify you. Even more so, it's like someone thanking you when they did the work or asking you to accept the payment or prize for their effort. Crazy, huh?
Yes. It is. And that's the kind of crazy I like to be around.