Christians often take the opportunity to reflect on Christ on the cross and the cost of our sins. This sacrifice paid our debt, removing the guilt of sin, and bringing the promise of Eternal Life to humanity. This blessing is facilitated by faith given by God, and usually the example of a gift is used. There might be another way of looking at it that helps clarify what’s going on.
Christ talked about His yoke being
"easy" (Matt 11:25-30). The yoke, being a tool to enable hard labor
to be performed, is rarely light itself. We are all born with the heavy yoke of
original sin. The guilt of sin and the burden it causes weighs down the sinner,
creating progressively harder yoke. Some grow to love the sin and the burden it
causes, loving the impossible task and enslaved by their sin. Others find the
Gospel, and faith flourishes. They find it lightens their load, and the world
is no longer hopeless. Christ carried our burden to the cross, paid the debt we
owed, and laid the yoke of sin's guilt to the side, replacing it with His yoke.
Forgiveness is always available from Christ, although we continually sin. We
put the sinful yoke on, add the guilt, and wonder why things are so difficult.
When we receive forgiveness through the Sacraments, Faith takes replaces the yoke
with Christ’s yoke, relieving us of the burden. Granted, we eagerly pick the
sinful yoke back up at the first opportunity, but God is patient with us. Faith
pulls the sinful yoke back off, sometimes after we have experienced the painful
burden to remind us. When one rejects the Faith, they usually grab ahold of
some sin over time, burden themselves with it, and add to it as often as they
can. They push God's "hand" away, preventing God from removing the
burden they grew to love. They no longer seek the Sacraments, or forgiveness.
They feel the weight of their guilt, and hold on to it. Over time, Faith no
longer removes the burden and leaves the sinner alone. The devil, world and
flesh gleefully add to it, knowing the yoke will remain even though it bites into
the shoulder and breaks the soul.
Only the Faith generated by the Holy Spirit can
lighten the yoke. We cannot reach the bindings to free ourselves, only the
places to grasp more firmly to the yoke. We can only add to our burden and
never able to loosen it. That God-given Faith loosens the straps, lifts the
yoke off our shoulders, and bids us rest with Christ’s yoke. When we do so, our
yoke is light because Christ has carried the burden. There is no more debt to
repay. No more of the yoke that destroys but the light yoke that builds up and
saves. Faith removes that which damns and destroys and replaces it with bondage
to Him who has risen from the dead. You must be bound to a master- the one who
craves your death, or the one who did it all for your life.