“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.” John 10:17
Jesus claimed to be the Good Shepherd and made the point that a good shepherd ‘lays down his life for his sheep’. I am sure we can think of examples of bad/false shepherds (leaders or fathers) who, in contrast to a good shepherd, care only for themselves and prey on those in their care. (e.g. Ezekiel 34)
Anytime a human ‘shepherd’ acts against or abuses those in their care, they anger and grieve the Father. He sent the good shepherd to show what his love is truly like.
Jesus knew His Father’s loving heart for himself and for ‘the sheep’ (us!) and cared for the sick, the marginalized, little children, those oppressed by evil and those without hope. He came to lay down his life for people (like me), who are sinful, wayward and often ungrateful.
Through it all, his trust in His Father was such that he knew he would not be abandoned and he would be raised to life again.
that you will truly understand Father’s love for Jesus, and His love for you in giving you such a good, good shepherd.
that you, like Jesus, will show the same trust and confidence in the Father’s character and intentions, and reflect this to those in your care.