(This week’s image courtesy of Pembrook cards.)
…if you confess with your mouth
that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and is justified,
and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Romans 10:9-10 ESV
So last week’s post left us marveling Oh No He DIDN’T!?! as you stood with His Own Heart amid the scene that unfolded at the cross of Jesus Christ on that first Good Friday two thousand years ago.
But remember our deal – that we’d come back together this week to finish the story?
Here’s the huge and all-important ending to what we’ve studied together through the past seven weeks of Lent:
OH YES HE DID!!!
Those are the four words I’ve been waiting to write for eight weeks now.
Aren’t they beautiful?
And the thing that makes them all the more beautiful is this: as surely as Jesus Christ did all those things we discussed last week from Matthew 26-27, He did – He did! He did! – spend three days in that deep, dark tomb only to rise from the dead for the express purpose of paying the one-time penalty for our sin, delivering to any who will receive it the gift of eternal life. I know we’ve covered a lot of scriptural miles in this series, but would you please do me one more favor? Open your Bible or use these hyperlinks to see for yourself that Jesus did these things, because He did do them: Matthew 28and John 11:25-26.
Once you’ve read those two passages, please come back here so that we can bring to a close the series, The LORD is My Shepherd.
Are you back? Great, because we need to cover a little more ground in order to fully conclude this journey. We’ve spent Lent 2019 looking together at the aspects of what the title of our series states. What, in other words, we mean when wesay with heartfelt conviction and deliberate commitment that The LORD is My Shepherd; what that looks like; what the statement implies about Jesus Christ; about you; and about me?
Through a series of guiding questions, we’ve concluded that for the believer – in the simplest of terms – He is our all-providing Shepherd, and we are His sheep. Christ is the shepherd who covers us at all times: He leads us, feeds us, heals us. And He does it all for His name’s sake – in order that I AM may be revered and loved in such a way that you and I can know and call Him our Shepherd:
- Jesus is the perfect Provider; He provides all needs for one’s soul.
- Jesus is the perfect Protector; He defines and defends His flock.
- Jesus is the perfect Promise; He delivers on His Word at any cost.
Think of the incredible implications of those statements. If you missed any of the preceding posts of this series, I encourage you to access them here because they fill in a number of blanks that lead into this week’s conclusion: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7. The reason I encourage you to follow through on this is that, as a believer, there’s a truth that is of ultimate importance for your life: as His sheep, you and I have direct access to some awesome privileges and blessings that define our identities in a temporal as well as in an eternal sense.
It’s a truth so integral yet so often missed in Western culture today. And if you take only one truth with you as we close this series, please let this be the one: Jesus Christ – God’s only Son – is the Good Shepherd. He gave His life for His sheep (John 10:11). And trust me on this: your pedigree and my pedigree as sheep of the Shepherd comeswith an unthinkable list of benefits.
Author and speaker Anne Graham Lotz gives one of the best summations of these benefits that I’ve seen. Her list is quoted in its entirety below. I have added scriptural references to her points for your convenience.
Real meaning to your life is found in the glorious dawn of God’s story, which breaks into full revelation in the Person of Jesus Christ. What an astounding truth! What a life-changing message!
- Because He emptied Himself of all but love, you can be filled (Philippians 2:5-7).
- Because His body was broken, your life can be whole (Isaiah 53:5).
- Because His blood was shed, your sin can be forgiven (Hebrews 9:22).
- Because He submitted to injustice, you can forgive (Ephesians 4:32).
- Because He finished His Father’s work, your life has worth (Acts 20:24-28).
- Because He was forsaken, you will never be alone (1 John 5:4-5).
- Because He was buried, you can be raised (Romans 6:4).
- Because He lives, you don’t have to be afraid (John 14:1-3).
- Because He was raised, you can be strong (2 Corinthians 13-14).
- Because He reached down to you, you don’t have to work your way up to Him (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- Because His promises are always true, you can have Hope (Hebrews 10:19-23)!
Bottom line: Jesus is the Shepherd. In Him and only in Him you and I find rest for our weakened, weary souls. Jesus is the provider. Through Him and only through Him you and I have access to victory over sin, death, evil. Jesus is the Protector and the Promise. With Him and only with Him you and I have hope for both this life and eternity.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior – and Shepherd – entering the gate of His ever-green, ever-lasting fold begins with one simple step that I can guarantee you’ll never regret taking. The Apostle Paul outlines this step in this week’s opening passage of Scripture above (Romans 10:9-10). If you have made the choice to take that first step or would like to know more about doing so, please contact His Own Heart Ministries so that we may walk alongside you as you begin your journey.
Hallelujah! Our Shepherd rose from the grave.
OH. YES. HE. DID!!!
And as the sheep of His pasture, we gain life eternal.
OH. YES. WE. DO!!!
– Copyright 2019 Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.