“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
I have lived in the city all my life; I have never met a shepherd. So I had to ask the internet “what does a shepherd do?”. From my one-minute research I am getting the idea that a shepherd is a person who takes care of the sheep; keeping them from wandering off and protecting them from harm. His primary responsibility is the safety and the welfare of the flock.
Jesus tells us he is the Good Shepherd. In contrast to the bad shepherd that neglects the flock, Jesus is good because he gives over his life in order to guarantee the safety and welfare of his sheep. You might ask, “hold on, what good is a dead shepherd?”. True, a dead shepherd can no longer tend to his flock, but this is precisely what sets Jesus apart as the good shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd as well as the Lord of resurrection – he died for his sheep, but he did not remain dead for long. He overcame death and three days later, he was resurrected. Jesus came to look for us and died for us, and he has risen for us.
Death and its threat have come very close to everyone in the world this year. As one of Jesus’ sheep I can rest secure in his love and the hope of the resurrection he has promised. Christmas is the time of the year that reminds us Jesus has come for us, and he invites you to be one of his sheep because he loves you and he wants to give you the best Christmas gift.