Stress or Rest

All the preparation for Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday gave me a serious case of stress. I even had some stress induced dreams the other night. As I sat down to write this article I began to feel ashamed. My stress should go unmentioned when put in the light of Jesus’ stress during the original Holy Week. It would do us all good to take a fresh look at what Jesus endured that week, and remember that He bore it all for our sake. Truly Jesus was and is our burden bearer. Because of God’s great love for us, our load of sin laid heavy on His shoulders at Calvary. The prophet Isaiah put it plainly “…And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Early in Jesus’ ministry He expressed concern for those who labored under heavy burdens. The religious system laid the weight of law-keeping on its followers. Cruel government and heavy taxation made life hard and burdensome. Jesus was moved with compassion for the heavy laden masses. To them He offered an irresistible invitation. “Come to Me, all you who labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I an gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Foy My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Allow me to alter slightly the words of a grand old hymn. “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, all because we do not allow Jesus to bear our burden.” If we believe that He bore the entire weight of our sin on the cross them surely we can trust Him to bear our daily burdens. I think now I can hear Him whisper, even as I’m writing. “Don’t be ashamed, and don’t compare your burdens to Mine. You are not equipped for it. That is why I bore your sin burden, and because I love you, I invite you to bring Me all your other burdens. My invitation still stands. If you will give Me your burdens, I will give you My rest. Is it a deal?”

-Terry Morrison