While the shepherd in Ancient Israel would be expected to take greater care to guide and protect his sheep than a hired hand would, it would be astonishing for anyone to willingly give up their life for a flock of sheep. This is why the Bible refers to the cross as a “stumbling block.” It is difficult for many to comprehend that a holy God would stoop so low as to give up His life for stubborn, foolish, and unruly sheep and yet this is exactly what Jesus did. The fact that no one could take Jesus’ life from Him highlights both Jesus’ ultimate authority and profound love. Jesus didn’t have to go the cross. He chose to and He did so out of love for God and love for us. In what ways is Jesus the fulfillment of Psalm 23? How might viewing Christ as your Shepherd give you confidence to walk through “the darkest valley”?

PRAYER – Jesus, thank You for being my Good Shepherd willing and giving Your life for me. The world may think You are foolish. But I know who You are, and I will fear no evil. In Your name, Amen.