“I am thirsty.” –John 19:28
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30 NLT)
In The Year of Living Biblically, A. J. Jacobs, a self-professed agnostic, details his efforts following “every rule, every guideline, every suggestion, every nugget of advice” he could find in the Bible, which he added up to more than seven hundred rules. At the end of the year, after frustrating and annoying his wife and repeatedly coming up against modern-day obstacles, he finds some meaning in some of the rules, but the meaning of an agnostic rather than the life-giving meaning of the Kingdom of God. Even so, what little meaning Jacobs may have found was overshadowed by the exhausting effort of attempting to follow every rule found in Scripture.
The burden of the Law of Moses was heavy, especially after adding in the numerous commentaries, expositions, and explanations from the religious leaders that were intended to assist in following the Law in its exactitude. Being God, Jesus knew the intent behind the Law, and being man, He knew the painful rigor of following the Law down to the letter. This is part of why He came to live among us, teach us, die for us, and defeat death for us. He took on our burden of sin and death as His own, and conquered it. In return, He invites us to take up His yoke, which leads to life abundant. The Law was not intended to act as a crushing burden, but it became one; is there something in your life that was not intended to be a crushing burden, but is? Invite God to carry this burden for you, and take up the yoke He has laid out for you to carry.