"Like A Shepherd"             

Isaiah 40:2


     Throughout the Scriptures our Lord Jesus Christ is set before us under the characteristics of a shepherd. His blessed Person and redemptive works are likened to a shepherd more than to anything else. In the New Testament there are three adjectives which setforth the characteristics of Christ as our Shepherd.

     Christ is "THE GOOD SHEPHERD" (John 10:11). "The good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." When our Lord refers to himself as "the good Shepherd," he does so in the context of his redemptive work. "The good Shepherd," redeemed his sheep,seeks his sheep,calls his sheep, causes his sheep to follow him, gives his sheep eternal life, and preserves his sheep unto everlasting glory by his almighty power. "The good Shepherd assumes all responsibility for his sheep. He does not provide salvation, and hope the sheep will find it. He saves them. He does not offer redemption, and hope the sheep will accept it. He redeems! The good Shepherd is the almighty, unfailing, effectual Savior of his sheep.

     Christ is THE GREAT SHEPHERD (Heb. 13:20-21). When our Lord is called "The great Shepherd" the context is talking about his resurrection glory. He obtained his greatness as a Shepherd "through the blood of the everlasting covenant." The mediatorial glory which Christ now enjoys is the reward of his obedience unto death for the salvation of his people. The whole purpose of God in the everlasting covenant was contingent upon one great, climatic thing - the blood of Christ! (Read Heb. 9:15-17). When Christ died on the cross he fulfilled all the terms and conditions of the covenant. His satisfaction for the sins of his people and the efficacy of his blood demanded his resurrection and exaltation. This was the Father's promise to the Son in the covenant (Isa. 53:10-12).

     Christ is also called "THE CHIEF SHEPHERD" (I Pet. 5:4). This title has reference to our Savior's glorious second advent. When Christ returns, he will raise his saints to glory. He will transform our very bodies into the likeness of his glorious body (Phil. 3:21), and we shall be perfectly conformed to his image in complete glorification. His final great work as the Shepherd of his sheep will be to present all his sheep to the Father in the perfection of righteousness, holiness, and immortality (I Cor. 15:24-28).



Don Fortner