All I have to do is look in the mirror to verify the truth of humanity's sheepish nature. 

Is There an Upside to Being a Sheep?

Sunday Scripture

The only possible downside I can see in exposing young children to classic hymns and great works of music is that sometimes they mange to misinterpret the lyrics and completely miss the point. Handel’s great rendering of Isaiah 53:6 in The Messiah landed on my youngest son’s ears as “Oh, we like sheep,” and his little spirit bore witness with that truth, so why question it? In fact, he did like sheep so much he went on to purchase, raise, train, and competitively show two sheep of his own when he was older. Unfortunately, he also learned a few things about sheep that rather diminished his enthusiasm for the species.
Sheep are stubborn.
Sheep are not easy to train.
Sheep have a tendency to go astray.

Apparently, Isaiah chose an apt metaphor for God’s people.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6)

All I have to do is look in the mirror to verify the truth of humanity’s sheepish nature.

In his kindness and because of his holy determination to spread redemption like a warm cloak over this fallen world, God laid the consequences of our waywardness on Jesus who became the sacrificial lamb, silent and slaughtered, shouldering the load of my willful disobedience. His death absorbed the wrath of God so we can stand before him, clothed in a righteousness that is not our own.

If your story includes a conscious acceptance of the forgiveness and welcome of God, you are in an amazing position to celebrate during this season of Lent. For you, Lent is a remembering of release and a rejoicing that your guilt and separation from God are in the past. Resurrection is ahead, and Easter will be the joyful commemoration of your freedom and new life in Christ. You are in the process of learning that there is, indeed, an upside to being a sheep–when there’s a Good Shepherd nearby!

If you are still carrying the load by yourself, open your Bible to Isaiah 53 and read more about the plan God announced 700 years before its completion. Then turn to the New Testament and be amazed at Christ’s perfect fulfillment of all God promised. I’d love to have a conversation with you about God’s willingness to become a sheep so that, ultimately, he could become your Shepherd.

Grace and Peace to You,

michele signature rose[1]

 

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Photo by Sam Carter on Unsplash

44 thoughts on “Is There an Upside to Being a Sheep?”

  1. Michele, I don’t need to look in the mirror as I KNOW I am a sheep 🙂 I am so grateful for the patience of our Lord to continuously lead this sheep back to Himself. Blessings!

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  2. Some in life will vilify those who are Christian with the sheep metaphor, but a sheep of God, I have been most of my life. Living or should say trying to stay to his standards. Yes, gone astray, but not too far astray over these many years, but the voice of of the Shepherd usually found its way back to me. Have a good week ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think of how so many miss the need of Jesus being the perfect sacrificial lamb because they have never delved into the Old Testament. I love God’s Word and the consistent weaving of the truth about the Lamb of God through the whole Book from Genesis to Revelation.

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    1. It’s certainly a major theme in Scripture. I wonder if people who are intimidated by the Old Testament can really enter into the fullest appreciation for the way it shows up in the New Testament?

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  4. Having been a Shepherdess in my lifetime, with 2,000 head of sheep…I know they can be willful, obstinate & easily led into danger but they are also amazingly friendly animals when hand raised!
    I’m glad we have the great Shepherd guiding & protecting us!
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

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  5. Absolutely love this, Michele! Both the story about your son (how cute!!) and the inspirational challenge to meditate on and remember Christ’s sacrifice as the Lamb of God! Pinning this one for sure, my friend!

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    1. I have heard lots of sermons about sheep and them being rather dumb and stupid animals, but no one ever mentioned the upside to being a sheep. Yes. There is an upside. Our perfect Shepherd who because of him we can rejoice during Lent. Great thought for my day.

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  6. Excellent Lenten post, Michele. If I take a good, hard look at myself, I have to admit that I am in the process of transformation. Not completely there yet, I tend far too often to try to carry the load by myself. I must remember the sheep and the Shepherd!

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  7. First, that sheep in the introductory photo is adorable. He/she looks loving and trusting– not stubborn at all! Second, your son’s understanding of “Oh we, like sheep” reminds me of another child singing “Lead On, Oh King Eternal” (Do you remember that old hymn or am I reaching back TOO far for you?!). He thought the hymn was about a turtle, as in “Lead on, oh kingly turtle!” Third, thank you, Michele, for reminding us that Lent can be celebratory as we remember our release from the power of sin and rejoice that our guilt and separation from God are in the past. Hallelujah for our Good Shepherd indeed!

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    1. Oh, I love that hymn, Nancy–and I have a feeling our “reach” historically may be similar.
      And I really try to bring that New Testament truth into the lament and pentience that go with Lent. We are a forgiven people!

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  8. Michele, I so love your perspective here. I thought about Psalm 23, and Tim Keller’s book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. This was instrumental in my understanding of sheep, their shepherd, and God’s amazing love for us. You’re right. Lent can be a time to marvel at all God has given us through His forgiveness.

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  9. Beautiful, Michele! And that sheep is so cute!!! he he he I repeat that verse to myself all the time. Every time I mess up 😐 All we like sheep, Patsy… All we like sheep… I’m so thankful for a God that continues to pursue me and doesn’t give up!

    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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  10. Michele,
    There is such an upside to being a sheep. Even in all my stubbornness, self-sufficiency, and yes, stupidity, Jesus still comes looking for me and and has made a way so that I will never be lost again. Praising Him for this truth during this Lenten season.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  11. I like the story of your son liking sheep and working with them for a time. Yes, stubborn they are, just like our nature to need lots of direction and care. This is powerful, ” For you, Lent is a remembering of release and a rejoicing that your guilt and separation from God are in the past.”

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  12. Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn PLease everyone stay safe and healthy. Hugz.

    Liked by 1 person

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