I apologize for getting all maudlin yesterday as I wrestled with God about my abundant hatred of death. I know that for those who place their faith in Almighty God through Christ Jesus, Savior and LORD, death is merely the conveyance into His Presence. There our bodies will experience the eternal life already enjoyed by our souls and spirits now. And Psalm 23 promises that as we walk through that Valley of the Shadow of Death, we will be comforted by the rod and staff of the LORD, our Shepherd.
The Gospel of John, Chapter 10, begins with Christ Jesus reminding His disciples that He is that Good Shepherd. He tells them that He will lay down His life for His sheep. It is a beautiful picture of the care we receive as His sheep.
Contained within that word picture of the Good Shepherd is an image that always brings joy and comfort to my soul. It is found in verses 27-29.
“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. [John 10:27-29 HCSB]
Two things comfort me in Jesus’ words. First, that we will never “perish.” We may have to pass through a shadow of death, but we will never “perish.” We will enter into the Presence of our Father, knowing who we are and Who He Is! What great delight!
In the meantime, Jesus reminds us also that nothing can snatch us out of His Hands and the Hands of our Father. The image is of cupped hands, one underneath us, and one covering us. Inside those magnificent, all-powerful, compassionate, and loving Hands, we are safe.
No one, nothing, is strong enough to over-power our Father and Savior. Today I rejoice in that!