Lamentations 1:14 My transgressions were bound into a yoke; by his hand they were fastened together; they weigh on my neck, sapping my strength; the Lord handed me over to those whom I cannot withstand.
If you’re reading along with the Moravian Daily Texts you know we just finished the book of Jeremiah and are now entering Lamentations. Lamentations is a book written by someone living in Jerusalem after the city was destroyed and its people taken into servitude in Babylon. All the bad things Jeremiah warned against have taken place and people are trying to pick up the pieces. I’m struck by the contrast between this verse and Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-29
28 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
I don’t know if Jesus was thinking of Lamentations when he said what he did, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The burdens of sin – guilt, shame, hardness of heart – are heavy. Mostly heavy on the inside.
To take on Jesus’ yoke, at least in part, is to confess our sins to him and accept the forgiveness of sins offered by grace through him. When we are relieved of our sins our burden is light and we can find rest for our souls.
Lord examine my heart and call me to confession and forgiveness. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.