I’ve always been struck by the passage, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30.)
Because how can a burden be easy?!
But if we’re learning from Jesus, as He says, under a yoke, that means He’s walking with us. When an ox is being trained, it’s tied to a yoke along with a more experienced ox. If Jesus is asking us to learn from Him by carrying a yoke, He’s teaching us by carrying it with us. We aren’t alone. And not only is He with us, He is asking us to walk SO INTIMATELY with Him. It’s not a burden; it’s a privilege. I wanted to paint how beautiful that shared experience of carrying that yoke would be if we’d allow ourselves to share it with Him. We carry it anyway; would we rather shoulder the burden alone and feel its full weight, or walk so closely with Him?
Jesus also said, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16: 24-25) The yoke and the cross are two analogies for the same. I wanted to combine them. Because if we take up our crosses daily, He’s there with us. May we find ourselves in His arms."