Leadership Development (September 01, 2020)
GREAT SALVATION THROUGH THE GLORIOUS SHEPHERD
Psalms 22; 23; 24; John 10:11,17; Hebrews 13:20,21; 1 Peter 5:4
All the words of God are important and inspired by the Lord. So are these three Psalms. Psalm twenty-two talks about Christ on the cross, when He provided for our salvation to reconcile us unto God. It portrays Him as the good Shepherd who gave “his life for the sheep”. Psalm twenty-three pictures Christ as the great Shepherd who provides us with His grace, goodness and gifts. He supplies everything that we need such that we have no lack. He makes our lives and ministry to be productive and “well pleasing in his sight”. In Psalm twenty-four, the everlasting doors open for the King of glory to come in. This King of glory is Jesus Christ, “the chief Shepherd”, who brings us to His glory, which shall not fade away.
Point 1: THE SUBSTITUTIONARY SUFFERING OF THE PROPITIATORY SAVIOUR
Christ had to suffer as our Substitute so we can have forgiveness, redemption and justification.
(i). The Suffering of the Sinless Substitute
Psalm 22:1-3; Matthew 27:46; 1 Peter 3:18
Christ was sinless. Therefore, He suffered and became our Substitute. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit”.
(ii). The Supplication of the Sorrowful Soul
Psalm 22:4,5,20,21; Luke 22:41-44; Hebrews 5:7
Jesus prayed with passion in the garden of Gethsemane and the Lord answered His prayer. “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared”. The Lord answered His prayer and sent an angel from heaven who delivered Him from death at Gethsemane because He had to go to Calvary to die.
(iii). The Scorn against the Spotless Sacrifice
Psalm 22:6-8; Matthew 27:39,40,42,43; 1 Corinthians 5:7
Christ, the spotless, sinless, holy and righteous sacrifice for our sins was “despised of the people. [And they laughed Him] to scorn” because of our salvation.
(iv). The Sarcasm against the Smitten Son
Psalm 22:12-15; Isaiah 52:14,15; 53:2-6
The men who killed Jesus made sarcastic utterances against “Christ our Passover [who] is sacrificed for us” and cast aspersions on Him. However, He was not surprised at this because the Old Testament prophets had prophesied that He would be “smitten of God… [and] wounded for our transgressions”.
(v). The Sacrilege against the Scourged Saviour
Psalm 22:16-18; Luke 23:10,11; John 19:23,24,34,37
David made prophetic utterances concerning our Lord Jesus. They spat on Him; slapped Him; put a crown of thorns on Him and said blasphemous things against Him.
(vi). The Satisfaction of All the Saved Seekers
Psalm 22:26,27; Isaiah 53:11; John 4:14; 7:37-39
This Psalm assures us that even though all those things happened to Christ, He will not be on the cross or in the grave forever. He would rise; and when He does, many would come to believe on Him. “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before [Him]”.
(vi). The Service of All the Submissive Saints
Psalm 22:28-31; 1 Peter 2:5-9; Romans 3:21-25
Christ is the King, not only of the Jews but also of the whole universe and every generation. “For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and he is the governor among the nations.” He is the Lord, Ruler, Controller and Captain of our salvation among all nations, and He will reign forever. He already reigns in the heart of all believers. His sacrifice for our redemption compels us to “serve him”. As the apostles and those who submit to Him declared His righteousness, we should also pass on the message of redemption by Christ from generation to generation.
Point 2: THE SUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF THE PERFECT SHEPHERD
Our Lord Jesus Christ is perfect and He supplies all our needs. As we believe in Him and become sheep of His pastures, we enjoy His sufficient supply.
(i). The Perfect Shepherd, Redeemer
Psalm 23:1; John 10:11,14,17,18; Isaiah 59:20,21
Christ is our perfect Shepherd and Redeemer. Thus, we have total, abundant and sufficient supply of everything He provides.
(ii). The Perfect Salvation and Redemption
Psalm 23:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Hebrews 9:12,15
Because Christ is our good Shepherd, Substitute and Saviour, we have perfect salvation and redemption in Him. There is no other way to obtain salvation except through Him. “…But by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
(iii). The Perfect Supply of His Riches
Psalm 23:1; Ephesians 3:8; Philippians 4:19
As our Shepherd, Christ gives us perfect supply of His unsearchable and unlimited riches. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
(iv). The Perfect Security and Rest
Psalm 23:2; Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:10,11
As sheep, we have confidence in Christ to keep us from danger. We enjoy perfect security and rest because of His presence. He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
(v). The Perfect Satisfaction and Refreshing
Psalm 23:2; John 10:9,10; Acts 3:19,20
The Lord, being our Shepherd, Saviour, Sanctifier and Substitute, grants us satisfaction and refreshing as He provides everything we need.
(vi). The Perfect State of Restoration
Psalm 23:3; 1 Peter 2:25; Isaiah 57:18,19; Jeremiah 30:17
Christ brings those who have gone away from the Lord and repented to a perfect state of restoration. He restores our joy, peace of mind, stability, serenity and health. “For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD”.
(vii). The Perfect Steps of Righteousness
Psalm 23:3; Romans 6:18,22; Luke 1:6,74,75
No matter how deep anyone might have gone into backsliding and sin, whoever returns to Christ the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, He gives complete righteousness and leads them step-by-step “in the paths of righteousness”.
(viii). The Perfect Safety and Reassurance
Psalms 23:4; 138:7,8; Jeremiah 23:6
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Christ has conquered death – premature, unexpected and the second death – for us. Therefore, we have perfect safety and reassurance through His substitutionary death at Calvary. In spite of the present challenges in our lives, families and ministry, He will perfect that which concerns us.
(ix). The Perfect Strength of His Rod
Psalms 23:4; 110:2,3; Micah 6:8,9
The sheep is not always afraid because the shepherd has a rod in his hand which he uses to defend them. Christ deals with our enemies and makes us bold because of the perfect strength of His rod.
(x). The Perfect Security for the Righteous
Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 59:19; 2 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 4:10,11
Although the “rod” and the “staff” can be used against the enemy, they are also used to draw back the sheep that is going astray. The double protection and manifestation of Christ’s love, His ability to deal with Satan and to restore the sheep, grants us comfort, peace of mind and perfect security.
(xi). The Perfect Superabundance for the Righteous
Psalm 23:5; John 10:10; Ephesians 3:20
The presence of enemies cannot hinder the believer from fulfilling his ministry and enjoying God’s blessings. In the presence of our Shepherd and Saviour, we enjoy perfect superabundant provisions, and our “cup runneth over.” Unfortunately, some people think they cannot make progress until their enemies are dead. But through faith, trust and confidence in the Shepherd, there is superabundance and anointing that breaks every yoke for the righteous.
(xii). The Perfect Shelter in His Eternal Residence
Psalm 23:6; John 17:23,24; Hebrews 13:12-14
Christ the Saviour, Shepherd, Redeemer, Righteous One and Supplier of all needs does not withdraw His goodness, grace and mercy all through our lives if we remain faithful to Him. Also, He gives us perfect shelter in His eternal residence. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever”.
Point 3: THE SURPASSING SUPREMACY OF THE PREEMINENT SOVEREIGN
There are three things to note:
(i). The Creation and Possession of the Earth by God
Psalm 24:1,2; Deuteronomy 10:14; Psalm 89:11; 1 Corinthians 10:26; Romans 14:7-9; Revelation 4:11
Everything on earth belongs to the Lord our Shepherd, Governor and Creator. Anywhere He sends us to minister is His territory because “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein”. As no human can lay claim to the sun, moon, stars and planet, no one can lay claim to the earth as his creation because it belongs to the Lord. Since “[He] created all things… for [His] pleasure”, they are also ours because every child of God is a member of the body of Christ.
(ii). The Condition of Purity for Eternity with God
Psalm 24:3,4; Job 17:9; Ezekiel 36:25; 1 John 1:5-10; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Matthew 5:8; Acts 15:8,9; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:14-22
The Psalmist knew that the earth is not our place of abode for eternity. Heaven is our eternal habitation. However, to spend eternity with God in heaven requires that we have “clean hands, and a pure heart”. We have peace with God in salvation and purity in Christ by sanctification. Salvation and sanctification are obtained by faith, and the Lord wants us to remain pure until He comes.
(iii). The Crowning of the Preeminent Prince with Everlasting Glory
Psalm 24:7-10; John 17:5; Luke 24:26; 1 Corinthians 2:8,9; James 2:1; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Corinthians 15:51,52; Colossians 3:4; Revelation 4:11; 19:1,6-9,11-16
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in”. Jesus Christ is the King of glory who is “crowned with glory and honour”. He will come again from glory and believers will be raptured to be with Him. The coming of Christ may be sooner than anyone expects. Therefore, we must be ready at all times. “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”