Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shepherd – Part 4

“Even when I walk through the dark valley of death, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your Rod and Staff protect and comfort me” (Psalms 23:4 NLT).

Death casts its dark shadow in all areas of our lives; it looms in our conscience mind something we can not escape. We are helpless in its grip because death comes to us all. Yet there are many forms of death. One of the most common and least considered forms of death is the death of a relationship.

Sin causes friends to separate, marriages to end and family to disown one another. We think only of death as the end of breathing but what about the death of a career, death of a season of life, death of a lifestyle or even the death of an enemy. Of all these forms of death, the worst of all is the death of hope.

Death means “separation.” Looking at it in this context, it losses some of its sting. We've all suffered from death while we are still alive. Death has robbed us of family, friends, careers and sometimes hope.

Jesus bore the penalty of all death on the cross. He disarmed the enemy of our souls that has fought hard to reign death over our lives. We have victory over all death, because the enemy who robbed us of life, hope, strength, and future, has been destroyed.

Daily we walk with the effects of death, but our Shepherd is always with us, He promised never to leave or forsake [forget] about us ever! (Deuteronomy 31:8). Our Shepherd has walked the path we are on. Jesus suffered in his earthly body all the things we suffer; from loss of family to his own life.

Scripture doesn't tell us when Joseph died, but we know that he did, sometime after they returned from Egypt and before Jesus began His ministry. He experienced death of a career. Scripture tells us that he made his living as a carpenter, before the time came to announce the Kingdom of God. He experienced death of friends and relationships. Scripture tells us how the people, who knew him best turned on him, mocked him and one who betrayed him.

With one event that changed the whole world, He gave up his life to destroy the enemy that we feared so much, the death that ends life. It's the fear or the unknown, when our physical bodies return to the earth from which we were made (Genesis 3:19). Some believe that this life is the end of the road. Jesus proved differently when he rose from the grave and defeated death, the final piece of creation.

We've discovered many forms of death, but the Final Death that Jesus destroyed is the death that separates us from our Father. The death that has separated us from knowing Him, trusting Him, loving Him and believing we have a future with Him.

Scripture reveals many names that God uses to describe His character such as; Elohim-[The Sovereign-Mighty Creator]; Jehovah-[The Unchangeable-Intimate God]; El Shaddai-[The All-Sufficient One]; and Adonai-[Lord and Master], and many more that go deeper to show the awesomeness of His Glory, to express His Holiness, and to encourage us to come into relationship with Him.

The Sovereign One of all we know adores us and has removed all the things that would hinder us from knowing and loving Him, especially the sin and unrighteousness that we are accustomed to living in these mortal bodies.

In Jesus we are given this same power to overcome all forms of death. We need begin the work of healing relationships, look at the future with hope that all changes are for our good and God's glory. We need to realize that death is dead.

Through Jesus absolute authority over everything in Heaven and on earth, our eternal security is assured, so we can rest assured that His rod [Rule] and staff [Authority] can never be changed.

Copyright©2011 – tathorpe – All Rights Reserved-


Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Beautiful. Aren't we glad He suffered as He did? Aren't we glad that He is our Shepherd? There is a reason Psalm 23 is so well loved. We all need its reassurance and comfort.

Terrie Thorpe said...

I have discovered so many golden nuggets of God's awesome love for us in just this little Psalm. I am still learning more and praising Him more with His almost-to-good-to-be-true Good News!