Jesus said: Learn from me for my burden is light and my yoke is easy. The first years when I read this verse in Matthew I was convinced that Jesus meant I was to copy His works. I was quite unsure, though, what He meant by saying His burden was light and His yoke easy, because it didn’t seem that way to me there I toiled and sweated and failed. However, as I have matured I have come to know that this verse doesn’t refer to performance. It refers to life. Repeatedly Jesus made statements like this:
- · I don’t do anything of myself
- · I only do what I see what my Father is doing
- · I only speak what I hear from the Father
- · The works that I do, they’re not my works, they’re the Father’s works who dwells in me
- · There is only one who is good and that is God
This is the secret to Jesus’ life and it is the secret to our lives. To enter this reality of abundance is to enter the gate which leads to rest.
John wrote: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in Him, and he in God.” Most of us spend a great many years in the reality before the first comma. The deception from the Garden of Eden prevents us from entering the reality to which the rest of this verse pertains. Jesus lived in “God abides in me, and I in Him”. Therefore He could say those things He said about Himself and do the works He did. As an example of redeemed man He showed us that we are created to enjoy this quality of life as well.
Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17 that He may be in us. Paul affirms that this prayer is answered when he writes about the mystery revealed, Christ in you. Your confession too shows that Jesus request has come to pass. He lives in you! Hence everything Jesus said about His relation to His Father is true about you.
- · We can do nothing of ourselves
- · We only do what we see our Father is doing
- · We only speak what we hear from our Father
- · The works we do, they’re the Father’s work who dwells in us
- · God is good
The author of the epistle to the Hebrews more than once told the congregation to move from dead works to faith. Dead works is the flesh attempting to please God by its efforts and performance. It says: I have to do it. Faith says: I enjoy the same oneness with God as Jesus did and hence God is the doer. The first approach is death. The second is abundance of life.
To enter this amazing reality by faith hinges on one thing; we must reckon ourselves as dead. We must know that we are dead. Christ died for us and we died together with Him and when we did our sins were forever forgiven. We are raised with Him to newness of life. The Christian life isn’t improving the old man. It is a wholly new life. Everything is new. We were born again from above when we accepted Christ and from that instant we are in a union with God whether we know it or not.
The reason why the author of the epistle to the Hebrews was so empathic about us moving from dead works to faith is that Christ is hindered from being formed in us when we attempt to live the Christian life. Paul said that if we try to live by the law we are fallen out of grace. It doesn’t mean that the union is broken. It means that Christ is impeded from expressing His life in, through and as us. Who wants to live an inferior life when there exists a glorious liberating alternative?
Have you often wondered if you live for God? Paul has an answer to your question. He wrote to the Romans: “For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” Jesus is inside you wanting to live His life through you. The day you discovered that you cannot live the Christian life you transferred the government to Him, and He lives for God. Since He lives for God, you live for God. This is the simplicity of the gospel.
The old man was his own point of reference. Everything was judged from this perspective. When we are born again one of the things we have to learn is that we no longer are the point of reference. Christ is the point of reference. Everything He is, we are. That is the gospel in a nutshell!
Written by Ole Henrik