Where we come from, sheep are part of the community and its livelihood. They aren’t especially beautiful animals and they tend to wander a lot. When they stray, they often get lost, because they don’t have a strong sense of direction. Shepherds spend their lives with their sheep. They are prized possessions to them, because each one has been purchased by the shepherd himself.
Did you know that sheep need to be lifted up when they fall on their backs? They can’t get up by themselves. They must be sheared for their own good as well. Their wool often weighs them down and becomes infested with bug, not to mention it gets dirty.
Shepherds carry a staff to protect their animals. With one end they fend off any predators – with the other they can grab any of the flock that decides to go his own way. They really need someone to be with them all the time
These animals need a shepherd to show refresh them with water and green pastures – to protect them from any danger – to love them – to lift them up when they fall – to lead them home.
Sheep were also significant to my people as the sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins. Only the perfect, unblemished lamb would be acceptable. The blood of the lamb was used by our forefathers to cover the door posts of their homes as a means to save them when the angel of death traveled through Egypt. We continue to honor that day in the celebration of the Passover.
You can imagine my thoughts when my cousin’s son, John referred to my boy as the Lamb of God.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29