S18P2 – The Characters of God: our shepherd
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
The first part of this scripture describes the shepherd as one who lays down his life for his sheep. Jesus did just that when He suffered crucifixion to the point of death in order to make a way for us to have life abundant. The shepherd is not only a leader but a guard against danger. To protect us from the death that is brought by sin, He became sin so that we might become righteousness [2 Cor. 5:21]. Jesus coming to earth to endure death was God sacrificing himself for his sheep as a good shepherd would
The second part of this scripture describes the shepherd as one who goes in search of his sheep. If even one sheep goes astray, the shepherd will leave the ones who are found to retrieve the one who is lost [Matt. 18:12-14]. He is not content to leave even one behind but will search and wait until all are found and returned to the flock. The shepherd’s job is not to lead some or most of his sheep home; his job is to lead all of his sheep home. God the shepherd will do just that, and Jesus will not return until all the sheep are found.
What we learn from this passage is that the shepherd desperately desires to keep his sheep safe and at his side within the fold. This desire is so great that the shepherd is willing to give his own life to secure the lives of his sheep. This is our God the shepherd. He desires to find us, save us and keep us, and his Son will not return until all are found. Jehovah Raah, the Lord our shepherd, thank You for seeking us and saving us, sacrificing your own life so that we might not see death.