Summary: Easter 4 (B) - Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Love led Jesus to the ultimate sacrifice. Power provided Jesus with total victory.
JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Outline)
April 13, 2008 –
EASTER 4 -
INTRO: Jesus is the Good Shepherd. Jesus is our Good Shepherd. These are some of the most comforting words in Scripture for every believer. Many are familiar with the painting portraying Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Jesus is calmly standing amidst a flock of sheep. In one hand he holds his shepherd’s staff. In the other arm Jesus is securely holding an innocent lamb completely safe. This is a very fitting picture revealing the depth of meaning of the words in our text. This is the picture that the prophet Isaiah painted long before the physical birth of Jesus. "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young"(ISAIAH 40:11). We direct our attention to this comforting truth in God’s word:
JESUS IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
I. Love led Jesus to the ultimate sacrifice.
II. Power provided Jesus with total victory.
I. LOVE LED JESUS TO THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
A. Today’s gospel (JOHN 10:1-10) introduces our sermon text. The “disciples did not understand”.
1. Jesus wants to make it very, very clear: “I am the good shepherd”, verses 11a, 14a.
2. Verse 11b. The good shepherd would even offer his life in order to save the sheep.
B. Verse 12. The hired hand is not like the good shepherd when it comes to dedication and service.
1. The original Greek uses a word that shows this hireling only want money and nothing else.
2. Verse 13. The sheep mean nothing to the money hungry hired man.
C. Verse 14. The good shepherd and the sheep know each other, closely, intimately, and personally.
1. Now Jesus wants the disciples to understand he has this same closeness with his Father, v. 15.
2. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will lay down his life for the sheep. This is the ultimate sacrifice.
D. We are like sheep. Our sins cause us to wander away. Left to our own we would be lost forever. Like sheep we need a good shepherd to protect us. We need a good shepherd who would even be willing to offer up his life to save us. Most amazing we have that very Good Shepherd. Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd. "And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!"(PHILIPPIANS 2:8). By grace through faith we know Jesus our Good Shepherd.
E. When Jesus died on the cross he was not selective about who would be forgiven. Most amazing, Jesus the Good Shepherd died for the sins of the whole world. His innocent sufferings and death was the price demanded for the payment of sin. Jesus holy, precious blood covered the sins of mankind once and for all. No other sacrifice is ever needed. "Jesus Christ, the Righteous One is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world"(1 JOHN 2:2). This is certainly and truly God’s amazing grace. Sadly, those who reject Christ also reject his forgiveness and heaven itself.
F. There are only two types of people in this world: believers and unbelievers. There is a vast difference in the lives of believers and unbelievers. The unbelievers live lives that are very self-centered and self-serving. After all they are only and ever going to look out for number one – themselves. But the believers look at what the Good Shepherd has done. The believers realize that their lives are completely and forever changed by the love of Christ. "Our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good"(TITUS 2:14). As believers we live lives that love God and serve our fellow man. By the power of the risen Christ we are able to turn from sin. Living in the resurrected power of our Good Shepherd we live lives that are “eager to do what is good”! We can do this only by God’s grace at work in us.