The Model Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ, is beautifully portrayed in the Psalms. We are going to travel together through Psalms 22, 23, and 24 to view the One who is our Shepherd. The beauty and care of our Savior, the Model Shepherd, is expressed in many other portions and verses which may be referenced in this meditation. We pray that this may encourage you to get to know Him more; He is the one who loved us and cares for us: “That I may know Him …” (Phil 3:10).
We begin this meditation of the Model Shepherd by climbing Mount Calvary in Psalm 22, and viewing the Good Shepherd. The Lord proclaimed His victorious actions when He spoke in John 10: “I am the good shepherd,” and “the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” When we come to Psalm 22, we understand the vast depth of what the Good Shepherd did when He was forsaken by God. There on Mount Calvary, He was despised of the people (Psa 22:13). The suffering of the Good Shepherd is beyond comprehension as He was poured out like water and all His bones were out of joint. There He bore the mockery of the soldiers as they parted His garment and cast lots upon His vesture. All this was necessary, so that our Good Shepherd could redeem His sheep for Himself. What a cost! He gives life to the sheep (John 10:10). Because of this, He can say, “My sheep” (John 10:27). Here we see the great relationship that was secured through our Good Shepherd. “I know My sheep and am known of mine” (John 10:14). Because He laid down His life for the sheep in Psalm 22, we have been brought into a great relationship with our Savior, the Good Shepherd. He knows us and we follow Him (John 10:27).
Leave Mount Calvary, Psalm 22, and walk down the hill and into the valley of Psalm 23. Here we will meditate upon our Great Shepherd. What beautiful words with which the psalm commences, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” These words sum up the entire psalm. Because He is my Shepherd, I will not want. His love, care, and satisfaction for His sheep causes me to be satisfied. My Great Shepherd makes me to lie down in green pastures, a position of contentment. How can I not be content when I grasp that great truth that the Lord is my Shepherd? In the valley of life He is always there. He is my Shepherd. It is interesting that in Psalm 23 the Shepherd is always in control, “He maketh,” “He leadeth,” “He restoreth,” “He is with me.” The question is, do we let Him and do we follow Him? As we move through the valley, we come to great times of contentment as He leads us to green pastures. We come to the still waters as we follow Him. He will always feed and nourish us. We continue our walk through the valley and come to the valley of the shadow of death. I will have no fear. Why? My Shepherd is with me. What comfort in knowing that truth, not based upon how I feel, but the great truth from the Shepherd Himself: “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” We are in the Shepherd’s hand. How He values us! He holds us and keeps us for Himself. He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” In the Great Shepherd we see the resurrected One. David the shepherd boy was able to save his sheep during his life, but our Great Shepherd saved His sheep by his resurrection (Rom 4:25).
Now we have come to Mount Zion. We can see Mount Calvary of Psalm 22 back in the distance, and looking down we can see the valley of Psalm 23. Our Chief Shepherd is waiting for us on Mount Zion of Psalms 24:7-10. We will see Him in all His glory, “when the chief Shepherd shall appear …” (1Peter 5:4). In that day He will reward those under-shepherds for caring for the flock, and all His people for the work and glory they brought to His name. He is the King of Glory! He is the Chief Shepherd of eternity. He has entered in and is waiting for His sheep (Psa 24:7). Because of who He is, the mighty and strong one, He is the heir of all things (Psa 24:8 Heb 1:2). We are joint-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17). We will spend eternity thanking our Good Shepherd, praising our Great Shepherd, and living and reigning forever with our Chief Shepherd. Let us thank the One who gave Himself for us. Let us praise the One who gave life to us, and let us worship the One who reigns for us. He truly is the King of Glory!
He has overcome all His enemies, for Himself, but also for us!
He is the heir of all things and we are “joint heirs with Christ.”
He is eternal and enters the eternal abode waiting for his sheep.