Friday, April 18, 2014

The Shepherd's Heart

The sheep came eager, supposing the rancher brought hay.

But he came instead, for a lamb caught in a twisted culvert.  And the sheep wandered off . . . no longer interested.

And isn't that like Good Friday?  Jesus miraculously fed the crowds and they came back for more, in search of a king.  But when He said, "This is my body, broken," and "this is my blood, spilled," they were offended.  The people thought Jesus unattractive, and hopeless as a lamb abandoned in a rusted out culvert.

Holding fast to a cross, Jesus bore the shame of the world, and suffocated under the wrath of God.  It was too ugly, too personal for the crowds to accept.  Yet, even in their rejection their cries spoke the way, "May His blood be on us and our children."  (Matt. 27:25)  If only they had known how rich were those words!  Indeed, unless His blood be on us we perish.

This wandering from the way, a curiosity leading to entrapment, the Lamb of God willingly bore in our stead.  We sought freedom through good deeds, but the culvert would not budge, the law, immovable.

There was no other way but for the father to send his own son.

God made flesh, fulfilled His purpose:  death on a tree, crying,  "It is finished!"

With grunts and groans, like birthing a child, the lamb is pulled out.  The God man raised to life, the first fruits of all who believe, born to eternal life.

In that moment, the shepherd holds the lamb tender, 

                                                                                  then sends him out to seek his own.

So too, for those who believe, God our Father holds gently, soothing our fears, and binding up our wounds.

For we were like sheep going astray, but now we have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls.                    (1 Pet.2:25)

It truly is a good Friday, a Friday like none other, and I am forever grateful.   

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good."  (1 Pet. 2:2-3) 

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome post. I love the pictures with the story... very effective and powerful. Blossom