Humanity has a love/hate relationship with religion. We love it because it makes us feel better about ourselves, yet we hate it because it holds us in bondage to rules that we’ve made up for ourselves to try (in vain) to make ourselves better. Jesus came to set us free from religion. He took on the burden of living perfectly for all who will believe and then placing that perfection on them. He says ” Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).
If we do not hand our burdens over to Christ, we will eventually be crushed by them. When we do, we are free to live a life of love and thanksgiving to God, and to help bear one another’s burdens; to truly love God and love our neighbor as ourselves as He commanded us to do. We can let God change us, since we cannot change ourselves, yet strive to be like Christ in all that we do.
This is not a contradiction as we may often think it is, but is rather a mystery. A fantastic and beautiful mystery that we won’t be able to fully understand, but are free to trust that it is the truth!