FRIDAY, APRIL 16
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.
John 10:18 (ESV)
THE GOOD SHEPHERD ROSE FOR ME
Dr. Joseph Haroutunian was a professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He came to America from Armenia. One day, a well-meaning friend said to him, “Your name is difficult to pronounce and difficult to spell. It could hurt your professional career. Why don’t you change your name to Harwood or Harwell or something like that?” Dr. Haroutunian asked, “What do those names mean?” His friend said, “Well, nothing. They are just easier to remember.” Dr. Haroutunian said, “In Armenia, when my grandfather was baptized, they named him Haroutunian which means, ‘Resurrection.’ I am Joseph Haroutunian and I will be a son of Resurrection all my days.” That man had not forgotten his true identity.
In John 10:18, Jesus promised to rise again for His sheep. And on Easter Sunday, Jesus kept His promise. Jesus separated Himself from all other shepherds by laying down His life and then taking it up again. Jesus’ empty tomb is a Christian distinctive. No other “self proclaimed” religious leader has ever come back from the dead.
Do you know where your family name comes from? Was there a reason your parents named you what they did? Every Christian is a child of the Resurrection and bears the name of Jesus. We should wear the name of Christ humbly and proudly.
Sellers reminded us of the promises of Psalm 23 in his sermon. Take time today and reread that Psalm and let it be your praise to God.