Why He Did It!
This is the third and final installment in this series on the good Shepherd who is revealed to us in Scripture. We’ve been focused on Jesus’ words in the gospel of John:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 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.
On Wednesday, we took a look at who this good Shepherd is in both the Old and New Testaments. On Thursday, we saw what the good Shepherd does. Today we will briefly look at why He did it.
Our good Shepherd did what He did so that we would once again be reconciled to God and restored to an intimate, personal, loving . . .
The relationship Adam and Eve had with God in the Garden of Eden—intimate, personal, loving, walking with God in the cool of the day—was lost when they turned away from Him and disobeyed His command. They willfully chose to remove God from the throne of their lives and put themselves on it. As a result of this awful act of cosmic treason, our first parents were banished from the Garden, and forced to live “East of Eden.”
But, as we’ve seen so many times here, God made a promise in Genesis 3:15 to make atonement for their sin. And it is only through trusting in the good Shepherd of the Bible that our lost relationship with God will be restored. Paradise lost is Paradise regained when we place our trust in Christ alone for our redemption and reconciliation with God.
In our relationship with our redeeming good Shepherd, we have two marks placed upon us:
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Mark #1 is placed on our ear – “My sheep listen to my voice.”
Mark #2 is placed on our foot – “They [my sheep] follow me.”
So . . . how good is your hearing? How well do you follow? Remember, we are always listening to some voice, and there are many strident voices in the world trying to get our attention. But the sheep of the good Shepherd listen to His voice. And then, after listening to His voice, the sheep of God follow Him . . . wherever He leads, regardless of the cost or circumstance.
David Limbaugh, brother of talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh, is a former skeptic who is now a believer. David told an interviewer . . .
One thing that blew me away and got me over the tipping point from skeptic to believer was the amazing Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled in such specificity. The prophet Micah in the Old Testament predicted the actual city of Jesus’ birth—Bethlehem—700 years before it happened!
My spiritual father, Dr. D. James Kennedy, often pointed out that there are 333 Old Testament prophecies that deal with the birth, life, death, and resurrection of the good Shepherd. When one takes even a cursory glance at these prophecies, it is plain to see that Jesus is our good Shepherd. He came to die for His sheep and He rose from the grave in order to have a personal relationship which each one of His sheep.
I pray that this will be the confession of your life: that you are a friend of God through Jesus Christ.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!