11 May 2014
Almighty God the Father, through Your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, You have overcome death and opened the gate of everlasting life to us. Grant that we, who celebrate with joy the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may be raise from the death of sin by Your life given Spirit.
We are in the Easter season. And who are you? You are Easter people. Holy and blessed sheep, who listen to the voice of their Shepherd. Jesus calls Himself the “good” and “noble” shepherd. You are a sheep of His fold. A lamb of His flock. A sinner of His own redeeming. He has made you His own by giving His life for you.
He continues to protect you from all who would do you harm. So long, as you remain in Him. Nothing, not even the devil can harm you. Remain always in Him.
1. Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” (v.11a)
All who come before Him were thieves and robbers. As thieves, as robbers, they only come to steal. Kill, and destroy. They are hired hands. Not shepherds. Hirelings don’t own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming and flees.
Thieves and robbers flee when trouble comes. They flee. Because they care nothing for the sheep. Because they are hired hands, they do not care for the sheep. They see the wolf coming. They leave and sheep and flee. The wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them.
Snatched and scattered sheep are doomed to be lost. Thieve and robbers flee when trouble comes. Hirelings care nothing for the sheep. Lost and frightened sheep need a good shepherd. One who cares and tends them.
2. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. (v.11b)
Jesus is the door. Because He is the door. The sheep listen to the Shepherd’s voice. Because He is the door. If anyone enters through Him, he will be saved. Because He is the door, holy and blessed sheep will go in and out. They will find pasture. And be satisfied.
Your good shepherd came to this world that you might have life and have it abundantly. As your good shepherd, He knows his own. Your burdens, your sorrows, your troubles, your cares. He knows His own. Your joys, your triumphs, your accomplishments, your future is His care. He knows His own.
And He’s known by His own. When you come confessing your sin in repentance and faith He absolves, pardons, and forgives. When you call upon Him in prayer, He hears you. When you read His Word He speaks to you. When you come to His table, He feeds you.
Mary had a little lamb
His fleece was white as snow
And everywhere that Mary went
The Lamb of God would go.
He made His way to Calvary
To pay for all your sin.
And three days later, conquered death.
And rose to life again!
Almighty God, merciful Father, since You have wakened from death the Shepherd of Your sheep, grant us Your Holy Spirit that, when we hear the voice of our Shepherd, we may know Him who calls us each by name and follow where He heads; through Jesus Christ, our Good shepherd. Amen.