Here in the very center of the Easter season, we return to Jesus, “The Good Shepherd,” an image that was first among all pictures of Jesus for early Christians. A few weeks ago I mentioned the catacombs—those long tunnels beneath Rome where the early martyrs were buried. Often images of the Good Shepherd were etched on the walls. This faith-sense about the Lord must have brought comfort to the families of those who had died.
Today’s passage talks about one of those feelings or aspects of the Good Shepherd when Jesus said with so much assurance that none of his sheep would ever be snatched out of his hand (v. 28). But it looked as though the Roman Emperor and his lions had done some snatching away from the hands of Jesus! Ah, but that’s just on the level of this life alone. Down there in the catacombs, the bodies of those who seemed to be snatched by the enemy, were really caught up into heaven.
Today and this week too, think about the heavenly dimensions of your own life right now. When things happen that tear at you or want to snatch away your peace, remember to put your trust in the Good Shepherd who knows you by name and who will never let you out of the safety of his hold upon you. Safe in the hands of Jesus, no one can get to you!
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