Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All We Like Sheep...

So the other day I was at the compound in Pifo, where recently the neighbors got some sheep, two ewes and a ram. They roam around eating all day long for the most part. Well I was looking out the kitchen window, where I saw the two ewes slowly walking up from the woods, eating away. Suddenly one of them looked up and started bleating. What happened was that the ewes in their wandering had gotten away from their boy. So they were lost. Sheep, although they have a vision range of up to 306 degrees, don't have much depth perception. They could never find their way back to their leader. Soon the neighbor came out and led them back down into the woods to the ram. I said to myself, "those dumb animals..."

Sheep. Dumb animals...wait a the Bible we're compared to sheep! So that makes us...yeah.

Now I know that we're not really sheep and humans are intelligent beings, but when it comes to our spiritual state, we are exactly like those dumb sheep, in so many ways!

I'm sure many of us have heard and even memorized the Isaiah 53 passage many times, but here is verse 6:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way...

Every single human being, like those dumb sheep, are lost, 'gone astray.' There's no hope for those sheep left all alone. They will remain lost if they are left alone.

But wait...they're not left alone. The Shepherd!!! Jesus is our Shepherd, the one to bring us back to where we belong. He is the only one that can and will bring us to Him.

Think of the parable that Jesus told of the lost sheep. At the end of the day, the shepherd was bringing his sheep back to the fold. As they entered in, he counted them. Uh oh. he only counted 99...there's supposed to be a hundred! So does he say, 'oh well its just one biggie'? No. He cares for every one of his sheep so he closes up the 99 and goes out on a search party. He retraces his steps, looking around here and there for his lost sheep. He calls for it over and over, and then he hears it: baaaaah. "And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing." (Luke 15:5) This shepherd was so happy to have found his sheep that he called all his friends and neighbors to celebrate that he found his one lost sheep! "Likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (Luke 15:7)

What a wonderful picture of who Jesus is. But look at the rest of Isaiah 53: Jesus didn't simply go out and find us lost sheep. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed...and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth."

Then look at John 10, another great passage about the Good Shepherd and His sheep. Look at verse 15: "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."

As I said before, Jesus didn't simply go out and find His lost sheep, He gave His life for them. He died for us, dumb sheep. As the shepherd cares for his sheep, so Jesus loves us, and when one sheep is lost, (and there are many lost) He is out there looking for it, wanting to bring it home. He is calling for the lost. If you are gone astray, listen to His voice. He has laid down His life for you, and He wants to bring you home.

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