April 5th


"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep"  (John 10:11).

Christ is the good shepherd!  He gives His life for the sheep. There are hirelings out there who do not really care for sheep (John 10:13).  Hirelings do not own the sheep, so when enemies come against the people of God, they leave the sheep and flee to allow the sheep to be scattered (John 10:12).  Jesus tells us again, "I am the good shepherd" (John 10:14a).  Jesus also tells us that He knows His sheep and that they know Him (John 10:14b).  Our heavenly Father wanted to have a relationship with us as Spirit-birthed sons.  Even before Adam, Satan, or this world was created, God foreknew that Satan would deceive Adam, who would commit the original sin.  God knew this would cause a satanic sin nature to pass upon all men, and would separate man from a loving relationship and fellowship with Him.  Jesus Christ, the Son of God, volunteered to come to this sheepfold of this world, and be born of a virgin, so that He would have His life and nature from only the Seed of God the Father.  Our heavenly Father sent His Son to save the sheep and lay down His life for the sheep (John 10:15).  The word used in the Greek text for life here is the word psuche.  Psuche means soul.  This verse literally states that Jesus will lay down His soul life for the sheep.

What does it mean that Jesus laid down His soul life for the sheep?  Jesus lived by the life of another in Him.  Jesus did the will of the Father and not His own (John 4:34).  Jesus gave up His soul life in mind, emotions, and will to the Father's. The Father loves His Son for His obedience and faithfulness to lay His soul life down in behalf of the sheep (John 10:17).  Jesus laying down His soul life did culminate in His going to the cross to also lay His physical life down for the Father.  Jesus "humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8).  Jesus chose and the power to willingly lay His soul life down and take it up again (John 10:18a).  Jesus told the Pharisees that this was the word that He received from His Father (John 10:18b). At this point many of the Jews thought Jesus had a demon (John 10:20).  Others, because of His miracles of good thought otherwise (John 10:21).  Jesus told them that they did not believe, because they were not His sheep (John 10:26).  Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27).  We need to know Christ is the good shepherd and He now lives inside us as us.

Paul discusses the shared-life we have with Christ.  Paul declares, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20a).  This is a dynamic declaration of the liberating truth of the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Christ, through the Spirit birthing has come to live in and through His birthed sons as them.  Paul said, "the life I now ever live in the flesh, I ever live in faith by the Son of God, who once then having loved me, also at intervals is giving Himself up in behalf of me" (Gal. 2:20b, Expanded Greek Text).  We live by the faithfulness of the Son of God in us as us.  Christ the Good Shepherd is living in every member of His many-membered body.  Christ is still giving Himself up in behalf of me by laying His soul life down in me as me.  The Christ-life in me is be expressed in and through me as me to the Father and others.  Christ is ever the good shepherd in me as me, expressing His life of love for the sheep! V

Written by Dwight Davis


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