11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Our Lord Jesus declares, “I am the Good Shepherd.” Like the other “I Am” statements Jesus intends the connection with the divine name, “I am who I am.” We can, then, paraphrase it as “I, God the Son, am the Good Shepherd.” That is very comforting. Even without a knowledge of the care of sheep in those times we can have an instinctive appreciation of the care and protection of a shepherd over his sheep, the care and protection of our God over us.
Jesus then raises our awe of this aspect of our relationship with him by adding, “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” He is, of course, speaking of the cross where he suffered and died on behalf of his people. We must remember that this was an act of overwhelming love to the undeserving. We should also remember that it was needed because of danger to us. What was that danger? Our sin demands just condemnation and the punishment for sin is death. Our Lord Jesus took our place, so we will never face that condemnation and punishment when we believe in him. What love, what grace what goodness; Jesus is truly the Good Shepherd.
As the old song says, “love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all” as an expression of gratitude.