THURSDAY, APRIL 15
For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
John 10:17 (ESV)
THE GOOD SHEPHERD DIED FOR ME
A small boy was consistently late coming home from school. His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless he arrived later than ever. His mother met him at the door and said nothing. At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate. There was a slice of bread and a glass of water. He looked at his father’s full plate and then at his father, but his father remained silent. The boy was crushed.
The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son. When that boy grew to be a man, he said, “All my life I’ve known what God is like by what my father did that night.” (J. Allan Peterson)
The boy’s father took his son’s punishment much like Jesus took our punishment by “laying down His life.” In the Old Testament the sheep died for the shepherd. In the New Testament, Christ is the Shepherd who dies for the sheep! The story of the Good Shepherd is not the tragic story of a victim but the tremendous story of a Victor! One who voluntarily laid down His life on our behalf.
Who are the people in your life who have demonstrated their love for you through sacrifice? Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice when He willingly gave up His life on the cross for you. Now He wants you to trust Him to shepherd you every day of your life.
Thank God for giving you the ultimate proof of His love. Ask God to shepherd you today.