In Matthew 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Upon first reading this I think most Americans (myself included) pass over it too quickly thinking that the verse is for people suffering, not for us busy people who work everyday. But is it really? Of course the answer is no, but it takes some time to get there, and to really appreciate the verse for what Jesus holds out to us in it. In this verse there are 3 strong realities that Jesus puts forth. First, Jesus is calling us to come to Him. Second, the call is directed toward those who labor and are heavy laden. And third, Jesus promises we’ll find peace if we come. I think I have such a strong tendency to brush past this passage quicker than I ought to because I’m so busy, most of the time, that I don’t think about being heavy laden and in need of rest. Does that resemble your own life? Living daily life in this world does not make it easier to have faith in Jesus, because it seems that everything under the sun is distracting us from the source of life, God Himself. We are a people who need a pause in life to stop upon statements like this in the gospels – “Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him to come to Me and drink.'” (John 7:37)
I think if we’re all honest with ourselves, when we get all quiet in our soul as silence creeps in during the night, we know this. We know we are thirsty, and not only thirsty, we know we’re spending our lives drinking from this fountain, and that one, or that one to find satisfaction. Has it worked? Nope. Jesus also said the same thing like this, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall hunger.'” (John 6:35) We have this call from Christ Himself, we know we’re thirsty/hungry/craving life sustenance deep down in the fibers of our souls, and yet, being aware of this we don’t come. Funny huh? Isn’t it ironic that we know these things, know how simple it would be to cast it on Christ, and yet remain immovable in heart. Why do we have a stubborn refusal to do what we all know we ought to? Because of our dead-ness.
What? Yep, you read that right. I’m dead, or at least I was once. All who are apart from faith in Christ right now at this very moment are spiritually dead and cannot do anything to better their situation before God. We are like zombies, because though we live, move, and do all sorts of things, we are dead on the inside and this is precisely why we cannot come to Christ when He calls us to. What do dead men need? Simple – life. Who can grant life? Simple again – Jesus. John 11:43-44 gives a description of how Jesus called Lazarus out of the grave from death to life. It shows us that the voice of Christ holds within it the power to raise men from the dead. So in a few sentences I’m going to write John 11:43-44 down here, but as you read it don’t pass over to rashly. Take your time with it, see how Jesus raised this dead man to new life by simply “calling” him. Think about your dead-ness. You need this call too don’t you?
“When Jesus had said these things He called out in a loud voice saying, “Lazarus! Come forth!” The man who died came out.” (John 11:43-44)