I Am the Good Shepherd

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  The psalm is such a beautiful, timeless portrayal of the Lord’s love and care for His children – from the green pastures and quiet waters to rod and the staff to the overflowing cup.  The author was king David himself; a shepherd himself, this man after God’s own heart went on to lead a kingdom.  His seed would sit on his throne forever

In first century Jerusalem, one of David’s descendants stood surrounded by disciples and Pharisees and curious onlookers.  This man, who had been declared both a king and a sinner, whom they had tried to crown and attempted to stone, stood in their midst and declared that He was the good shepherd.  He wasn’t a thief or a robber, like those who had gone before.  No, like David He was a true shepherd – but a greater one.  He knew His own, and His own knew His voice, and they followed Him.

He laid down His life for the sheep.  He gives them eternal life, and no one can snatch them from His hand.  But this life is by His death.  The shepherd had to be led like a lamb to slaughter, so that by His death the straying sheep might receive abundant life.

A couple days ago, I stood in the bathroom of a fast food restaurant, in frustration at my own sin.  I looked at myself in the mirror as I washed my hands, and I reminded myself yet again – I am clean.  By His death I have been clothed in His robes of righteousness.  And I realized with startling clarity that this girl standing in a bathroom – this girl who has just failed, again – right here, right now, is a child of God.  To say I don’t deserve it is one of the most massive understatements in the history of language.  And yet, He died for me, and “no power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand.”  When He looks at me, the Father sees His own spotless Son.  How great is our God.

“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

//Scripture ~ John 10:11-18, 27-30; Psalm 23; Isaiah 53:5-8//

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