The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
The Gospel of John records several statements of Jesus that begin with the words “I AM”. These statements are so powerful because Jesus is teaching us deep truths about WHO HE IS through symbols that we can understand: The BREAD of life, LIGHT of the world, the DOOR, the RESURRECTION and the LIFE, the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE, the VINE, and the GOOD SHEPHERD.

All of these statements are equally important, but as we draw near to Good Friday, I wanted to focus on Jesus’ claim of being the GOOD SHEPHERD (John 10:1-18).
 
Throughout the Bible, people are often referred to as sheep. Sheep are animals that need a caretaker, they are defenseless against predators, they get lost from the fold, they require tending and attention, etc. In short, sheep are a perfect metaphor for the spiritual state of humanity on our own - we need a caretaker, a defender, a guide, a leader, a savior - we desperately need a GOOD SHEPHERD.

Thankfully, we have the perfect GOOD SHEPHERD in Jesus. He cares for His sheep, knows us by name, leads us in the right way, goes out before us… but most incredibly HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US! If you ever wonder how much God loves you, He loves you enough to die for your sins so that you would be made perfectly righteous, holy, and ALIVE in Him! And not only did Jesus take away our sins, He also gave us His Abundant Life! “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
 
But, the only way for the sheep to receive Jesus’ promise of abundant life - to enter through the door into pasture - was for the GOOD SHEPHERD to lay down his life.

Through his willing sacrifice, Jesus opened the door of righteousness for His sheep - the door that leads them directly to God, to peace, to paradise, to TRUE LIFE! That is what He meant when He said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” Because of our sin we were separated from God - trapped in our own iniquity - but Jesus has freed us and brought us back to God. He opened the door that no other man could open!

When we see the cross, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus, we see the Good Shepherd laying down His life, opening the door into God’s good pasture, and giving us His abundant life!

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

He is our Good Shepherd and we are His sheep.

May God richly bless you in His Son,
Bro. Aaron