The treasure that this picture holds within it for me is tremendous. It comes from Benjamin Hole a farmer who makes his home on the Isle of Purbeck, England.
I think that what captivates me about it is how strong his hands are around that fragile newborn lamb. His hands are strong yet they cradle this lamb so gently. Sure strong hands. To me this is the image of the Good Shepherd. Strong and sure. He is not weak, timid, shy, or feeble. He can protect us as this shepherd can protect his little lamb. He does not hesitate to keep us from harm’s way, and yet He understands the deeper strength found in allowing us to go through trials. Nothing is too hard for our God (Jer. 32:27).
He is sure. He does not waver in his decisions or doubt his plans. He knows no struggle with fear or worry. His plans are right the first time and nothing can ruin them.
As this Easter approaches, I think often about the plan He made from the beginning of time to bring you and I back into His presence. That most glorious gift was offered to us 2,000 years ago and to this day remains. That day the Son of God laid himself upon the altar to sacrifice himself for all the wrong doings committed in all the past, present, and future. And though the pain ripped his precious body apart, I know in my heart that he wept with joy for the knowledge that we would one day be with Him in Heaven.
Do we understand the love of our dear Savior? Do we comprehend all that he suffered for our sake? I know we don’t, for if we truly did, this life would be as nothing to us unless it involved Him. Oh how I wish that I could love Christ even a small amount of the way that He loves us. And do you know, that that is all that he asks of us?
Just to love Him.
To know Jesus is to love Him, for when you come to understand even a glimpse of who He is, you cannot but help to love Him in return. It is so easy to love Jesus, and yet at the same time difficult for our flesh. That is where God’s grace comes in.
I’ve come to realize that in my sinful nature, nothing good comes from me. It all comes from God as a gift. My faith is not my own, rather it is itself a gift from God. He helps me believe. My love for others is not my own; it too comes from God. Even the love I have for Him is not my own. He gives of his own love to me that I might return it. And I so badly want to return it.
I want to love God as He loves me. I want to see his smile and feel his glorious presence. I want to hear his laugh and to know what he is thinking. I want to put my hand in his mighty hand and feel his firm grasp. I want to walk with him and talk with him forever. I want to look in his eyes and be able to fully understand all that He has done for me. I want to love him.
And the beautiful thing is, I can. All because of Jesus.
As we celebrate Easter once again, I want to remember that my life is not about holidays or enjoying myself. It is about a lamb. The Lamb who died as a sacrifice for my sins that I might commune with my Lord and spend eternity growing in fellowship with Him. I want to be more like Him. I want to love Him like He loves me. I want to be as this humble, trusting lamb in the arms of my Good Shepherd.
May you feel the nearness of our Savior this weekend and be reminded of the sweet sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.