“Hundreds of sheep followed their leader off a cliff in eastern Turkey, plunging to their deaths this week while shepherds looked on in dismay. Four hundred sheep fell 15 metres to their deaths in a ravine in Van province near Iran but broke the fall of another 1,100 animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. The loss to local farmers was estimated at $74,000.” (Report from BBC, July 8, 2005)
Blindly following a leader has gotten lots of people into trouble, too. That’s why we need the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus who watches over us and has given His life to save us from the foolish consequences of our headstrong ways. Will we follow Him or wander off to do our own thing—or follow “other sheep” into total ruin?
“All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the LORD laid on him
the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
I love the paradoxes that describe Jesus. He defies being put into a box. Those who know Him revel in the fact that he’s both…
My Shepherd and yet my sacrificial Lamb (John 10:11 & John 1:29)
My God and yet my Brother (John 20:28 & Luke 8:21)
My Creator and yet my Companion (John 1:3 & Matthew 28:20)
Eternal yet killed (and of course raised to life) (John 1:1; 19:30 & chapter 20)
Master and yet Servant (Jude 1:4 & Mark 10:45)
And much, much more!
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body.
He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. (Colossians 1:15-20)
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!