Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Way of the Cross (22)

It's perhaps the best known chapter in the Bible. It's probably one of the most requested hymns at funerals. It is, of course, the Twenty-Third Psalm.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalm 23:1-6)

The Lord is my shepherd. It's how the Lord Jesus describes himself; the good shepherd. In the care of the good shepherd, we will never be in want, because he provides and is present with us at all times.

Even when dark and difficult days come, as they will and do come, there is nothing to fear. The Lord Jesus has passed through death for us; he leads the way through death to the glory of the Lord. As we pass along the way, in the care of the shepherd, we look forward to dwell in the Lord's house forever, part of the family, settled and secure.

All the blessings on offer, highlighted in the psalm, come because of what the Good Shepherd did for the sheep. He laid down his life for the sake of the sheep. He willingly sacrificed himself for our sake.

That's how we can know peace and not fear any evil - the shepherd is my Lord.

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