“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, but the fact is that we do not find it so if we endeavor to follow Him in our fleshly nature. In that case His yoke is very uneasy and His burden is burdensome indeed. The only way that the yoke is easy is as we are yoked to Him. This is a spiritual condition only; we cannot be yoked to Him in the flesh. But if we are yoked to Him in the spirit, by the Holy Spirit, then it is His nature and character that drives our lives in this world.
Then we will find that we are able to follow Him as we are meant to, as He followed the Father, loving not the things of this world and always doing those things that are pleasing to the Father. Only then is our yoke easy; only then can we truly find true rest, for it is He that is doing it, in us and through us.
In Christianity, “In Christ” has become a theological expression that is applied to everyone who, at some time, “accepted” Christ. Thus, according to this reading, anyone describing himself as a Christian, is “In Christ”.
It is difficult to believe that this was what Paul meant to convey in his use of the expression.
We were crucified with Christ, Paul wrote to the Romans (6:6); this is an analogous reference to the crucifixion of Christ in which His flesh was torn upon the cross. The application of the analogy is to be found in the life of the one who would follow His Master; not necessarily in actual physical crucifixion, although many did endure, and still in these day endure, that suffering.
But for every believer seeking to trust in Christ Jesus for eternal life, there is a tearing of the flesh that must take place; the natural man must be completely obliterated if the spiritual man is to claim his inheritance as one of the saints of the Most High. For such as seek to follow Jesus to glory, this suffering of the flesh cannot be avoided, although the natural tendency is to shrink from it. If we do, however, we should remember Jesus’ warning;
“Whoever wishes to save his life, will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25).