“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
When Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd,” He taught some far-reaching truths about Himself, His mission, and His work
In the light of all the Old Testament had said about the Shepherd, Christ’s words carry this message: “In the word of God, the one true Shepherd is clearly identified—I am that Shepherd. The Shepherd’s purpose and actions are prophetically described—I have come to fulfil those prophecies. By laying down my life, I will procure and assure life for my sheep. Then I will take my life up again and lead all my sheep to their promised destiny.”
Throughout the Old Testament, the Shepherd of Israel is Jehovah Himself (see Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; 80:1; Isaiah 40:9–11; Ezekiel 34:12). By saying, “I am the good shepherd,” Jesus was stating, “I am the Lord, Jehovah.” But He was also stating, “I am the long-promised Messiah,” fulfilling the prophecies of Ezekiel 34:23; 37:24; and Zechariah 13:7. As the good Shepherd, He did a great and gracious work for His sheep. When He died, He gave His life as a sacrifice to save them from death and give them possession of true life in all its rich abundance, something no other shepherd could do.
The Lord Jesus is the perfect Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd who died for us; the Great Shepherd, who rose again from the dead (Hebrews 13:20); and the Chief Shepherd who is coming back again (1 Peter 5:4). Peter says He is “the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25). We have many difficult ways to travel on our way to glory but with this testimony, we can face anything in life, death, or eternity.
Quote: “Having purchased His own sheep with His blood; our Great Shepherd knows them, feeds them and leads them unerringly to glory.” Alexander Simpson
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The Shorter Catechism
Q25: How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A: Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice1, and reconcile us to God2; and in making continual intercession for us3.
1. Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. (Hebrews 9:28).
2. In all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. (Hebrews 2:17).
3. He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25).