|Photo Credit: Jeanette's Ozpix|
Ok, so you have to admit the imagery of Jeremiah is pretty awesome. Jeremiah is like a modern day preacher, pulling out all sort of props and doing cool visual illustrations. I have tried a few of these myself; pulling rocks out of bag to represent the burdens we carry, having people place stones with sins on them before a cross, lighting felt on fire, and a few other little gimmicks. However, I have never gone to the extremes that Jeremiah went to. I did not live my life with an ox’s yoke around my neck. Could you just imagine the Hollywood cartoonary that would illustrate this story? Jeremiah trudging around Jerusalem, slouched over, sweat is glistening across his brow, as he carried this yoke on his shoulders?
Then could you imagine the epic scene in the Temple where Hananiah (This must be a different Hananiah than was taken into captivity with Daniel) pronounces God’s deliverance from the oppression of Babylon? Could you imagine how Hananiah would have gone about destroying the yoke around Jeremiah’s neck? I think this sort of imagery is what I love about the Bible.
The Bible is the greatest romance novel ever written. It tells an awesome story of how God has relentlessly perused a relationship with you and me. But it is also an action adventure story. How many battle scenes have we seen play out through the words on the pages? In the midst of that it is also a drama. Today’s story highlights that aspect of it as well.
On a side note, have you put a yoke around your neck that you are trudging through life with? Is it weighing you down? Is it holding you back? Do you need to let go? Here’s the cool thing, while it was not time for God to remove the yoke of oppression of the Babylonians, in Jesus, God wants to remove any yoke you may be carrying now. Really he may not completely remove it, but he will join with you and help you carry your yoke. That is what a yoke was designed for. It lightened the load, spread it out over two animals or more, to help pull whatever it was they were pulling. Here is an awesome promise from Jesus … “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)