Monday, December 10, 2012

Advent: Day 9

Yesterday we looked at Christ as the King. He is the King from the line of David that God promised to establish forever, but His kingship is far beyond any ideas we might have kingship. He is the King of the universe and the King of believer's lives, but let us not imprint on Him what the world has done with kingship.  He is the Sovereign Lord but He is also the Great Shepherd:
9 Go on up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good news;
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good news;
    lift it up, fear not;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord God comes with might,
    and his arm rules for him;
behold, his reward is with him,
    and his recompense before him.
11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young. (Is. 40:9-11)
Isaiah goes on in this passage to describe God as the Sovereign Creator and Sovereign Ruler, but those are both within the context of Christ as our shepherd. Being the Sovereign Creator and Ruler of this universe means that of course Jesus can take care of the mess that we call our lives, but that is little comfort if we do not know for certain that He cares enough to do it. Isaiah's words above remind us that of course He cares. He is the Good Shepherd.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd…. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. (Jn. 10:11-16)
The Sovereign Lord whom God the Father appointed to be born of a virgin, which we celebrate at Christmas, is the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. Isaiah tells us that the same God who is the Sovereign Creator and Ruler of this universe is also the Sovereign Shepherd who gathers His beloved lambs and holds them close to His chest. The same mighty arm that rules this universe and brings princes, kings, and presidents to nothing, that same arm gently lifts the hurting lamb and lovingly leads the bewildered sheep.

The baby born in Bethlehem is King, Prophet, God with us, the Righteous Judge, and He is also our Shepherd.

By His Grace,

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