April 12, 2019

Our Good Shepherd

John 10:11-21

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

—  John 10:11

When Jesus taught that he is the good shepherd, people had different reactions. Many said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad.” But others said that didn’t make sense— and they asked, “Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

The Bible’s teachings and Jesus himself still get different reactions today. We understand that we may have to send soldiers into battle to protect our country, but people struggle with the idea that someone would have to die to pay for our sin.

Over the centuries, Christ’s church has struggled with how to present the message that one person—Jesus—died to pay the price for human sin. The Canons of Dort say, “This death of God’s Son is the only and entirely complete sacrifice and satisfaction for sins; it is of infinite value and worth, more than sufficient to atone for the sins of the whole world.” This too gets different reactions.

Jesus himself taught that as the good shepherd, he was willing to lay down his life for us, the sheep that he loves. He was not like a hired hand, who would run away from danger, caring nothing for the sheep.

The Good Shepherd’s death has “infinite value and worth” for all who believe in him and trust in his care.

How can you share Jesus’ love and care today?

Jesus, thank you for being willing to die for us even though we deserve to die for our sin. Guide us to live in a way that brings honor to your gift of laying down your life for us. In your name, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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