We learn from Matthew’s Gospel that one of the earthly ministries of our Lord Jesus was to “proclaim justice.” You and I serve an amazing Christ: He offers justice where there is no justice! Sooner or later, Jesus will make everything right.
Now I know what you may be thinking: “Yeah, yeah, yeah … more of that Second-Coming stuff.” No. Not really. We don’t have to wait entirely. Jesus began the process of making things right when the Holy Spirit promised His coming to our first parents (Genesis 3:15). Jesus’ heel was bruised while stomping on Satan’s head when Christ died on the cross for our sins. That already happened. But the promise of the Bible is the removal from our lives of the power of evil forever.
Now that’s justice. What greater injustice is there than sin itself? It will be gone. Entirely! Martin Luther remarked: “We must have a Savior who is able to redeem us from the power of the devil, and also from sin and death. For if He is an ordinary human being, He is not our Redeemer. But if, as the Son of God, He sheds His blood to cleanse us from all sins, then the devil must give way and let us rest in peace.”
Jesus is like a fishhook hidden under the minnow of His humanity. The devil snapped at the hook when Christ died on the cross, but couldn’t hold on. Our enemy ended up with a lethal blow himself because Christ could not be held by death and the grave. Jesus, my friends, rose again!
But here we are now, swimming at times in what seems like a sea of injustice. We know that Jesus has promised to give us rest, and in fact to be our rest, but sometimes we’re not so sure that we’re going to make it home in one piece.
When Jesus walked the earth, the Jewish people were burdened with 628 different commands and requirements in the Pharisaical religion of their day. 628 of them! I have enough trouble with ten commandments. Don’t you? Is it any wonder that people flocked to Jesus, who spoke with such gentle and loving authority, and who told of a Heavenly Father whose true children obey Him out of love for Him? Jesus spoke of “easy” yokes and “light” burdens. Sounds good to me.
You know what a yoke is, don’t you? It slipped over the shoulders of a beast of burden and allowed the animal to pull a plow or a wagon. Jesus probably made them in Joseph’s carpentry shop. A carpenter could take his time and get it right, or do a hurried job and make life miserable for the animal. You know what kind of job Jesus did for us. And a yoke could be built for two animals to pull the load together. Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light because Jesus is right here carrying our burdens with us!
Let’s face the facts. Sometimes we Christians don’t do a very good job at portraying Jesus as the Hope of broken people. Sometimes the church breaks hearts by overburdening folks with demands and expectations which are manmade – expectations which God never gave us.
But Jesus is right here to uplift us and to strengthen us if only we will put away our grudges …
and hard feelings …
and frozen anger …
and come to CHRIST for healing.