Sheep Need a Shepherd
Left to themselves, sheep will often be in a state of confusion and imminent danger. They need to be watched, cared for, and protected by a loving shepherd. The Lord Jesus compared the multitudes of people who came to Him in a desert place as "sheep having no shepherd," and He was "moved with compassion toward them."
The compassion of Jesus for lost sheep is seen in John chapter 10. Knowing of the many thieves and robbers who came to kill and destroy the sheep, He declared His mission: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd:
The Good Shepherd
giveth His life for the sheep" (vss. 10,11).
Without exception, the divine verdict of Isaiah 53:6 is true of us all: "ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way"—the way of sin and departure from God which leads to eternal destruction. BUT, "the Lord [Jehovah] hath laid upon Him [Jesus] the iniquity of us all." It was on the cross of Calvary the Good Shepherd "bore our sins in His own body … and suffered for our sins, the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God" (1 Peter 2:24; 3:18). Yes, He died that lost, willful, straying sheep might live!
But death could not hold Him. As He said, "I lay down My life, that I might take it again … I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again" (John 10:17,18). In resurrection He became "our Lord Jesus, that
of the sheep" (Hebrews 13:20). He lives to keep and care for His sheep who have become His own by trusting Him as personal Saviour. Security and sustenance for His sheep are found in Him the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He is the risen man in the glory in whom all fullness of the godhead dwells. He is the resource for every need His sheep have for the journey through this world.
What peace fills the soul because He leads by waters of quietness; what rest is found as He makes one lie down in green pastures; what calm settles upon one who is assured that goodness and mercy will follow him all his days; what hope lifts the spirit of one who knows he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever with Him!
It is Peter who was commissioned by the resurrected Lord to feed His lambs, tend and feed His sheep, who looks on to the time "when
The Chief Shepherd
shall appear, and ye shall receive a crown of glory" (1 Peter 5:4). It will be His joy to display His own when He comes in the power of His glory, and to share with them all the glories He has acquired by redemption.
By His death He is the Good Shepherd. By His resurrection He is the Great Shepherd. At His coming He will be the Chief Shepherd.
What a complete Shepherd He is for the sheep! Is He yours? You cannot do wihout Him, and He wants you! Confess your sins to Christ and believe He died for you. He will put you on His shoulders, care for you and take you home to the Father's house rejoicing!
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