#DailyDevotion Jesus Is Your Torah & Sabbath & Promised Land
Matt. 1128“Come to Me, all you who are working hard and carrying a heavy load, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me -I am gentle and humble-minded – then you will find your rest. 30My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
Jesus speaks to the people as if they are still in Egypt under the heavy load of the Egyptians. It is because they have never really entered the rest he had prepared to give to them. The Israelites who saw the LORD’s wonders, who heard his voice, who saw his glory on the mountaintop, who grumbled against him and who refused to enter the Promised Land when they got there, the LORD swore they would never enter his rest. The rest or Sabbath he was speaking of was the Torah and the Promised Land. While the Torah was given and eventually after that generation had died off the people did enter and take the land, they never experienced the Rest, the Sabbath the LORD had intended for them. They constantly rebelled and would not follow his Torah, his way.
Even as death and destruction was upon the gates of Jerusalem the LORD spoke to his people through Jeremiah, 616“Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: ‘Where is the way that leads to good things? Live in it and find rest for yourselves. But they said, ‘We won’t live that way.’” Even after the exile, the Jews would not find their rest in the LORD. They would not follow the Torah. They came up with the Talmud and Misnah, the traditions of the fathers. The heavy load of sin weighed them down. Thinking they were carrying the yoke of the Torah and resting on the Sabbath they carried a yoke of their own making and could not find any rest.
Jesus is the LORD. As he had revealed himself, well his backside to Moses on the cleft of the mountain, now he reveals himself in the flesh, our human flesh. He proclaims himself the yoke of the people which is better than the yoke of the Torah. Jesus is our Torah, our way, truth and life. Jesus says to learn from him and not from Moses (who you never listened to anyway).
Come to Jesus and you will find your rest, your Sabbath. Jesus’ yoke, Jesus’ Sabbath is the kingdom of God. In Jesus we have the kingdom of God, the kingdom of Heaven, the Promised Land. Instead of the glory, the fire, the trumpets and the earthquakes, we have Jesus, gentle and humble-minded. Come to Jesus. He is gentle and humble-minded. His yoke, his Torah, is kind and slight. Kind is a better reading. Perhaps the King James English carried a different meaning than today’s “easy.” Jesus will not turn you away when you come to him humbly and contrite, weighed down with all your past, the evil you have done and the good you haven’t done quite good enough. He is humble-minded. Bearing the same flesh you bear and having been tempted in every way, yet not falling into sin, he can sympathize with your plight.
Jesus’ Way, Truth and Life is kind and slight. He tells us to trust in him and love our neighbor as ourselves. He doesn’t burden us with details of how to live our lives. Everything the Father wants of us is carried out in those two instructions. Jesus freely and by his grace opens to us the kingdom of God and places it in our hearts. He points us away from the ways of this world brings us into the new heavens and new earth, the New Jerusalem he promised to Abraham and showed to him. He gives us his Holy Spirit so we may indeed trust in him and begin to live this new life, to live in the kingdom, his Sabbath rest even now. He has given us Today that we may rest in him and learn from him.
Heavenly Father, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may trust in Jesus, take his yoke upon ourselves and enter the Promised Land of your Sabbath, your Rest and know your kindness and gentleness. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.