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"And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home!" Luke 15:5-6
He does not drive the poor weary sheep home. This is not the way of the gentle shepherd. He stoops down and lifts it up, and lays it on his own shoulder and carries it back. There is a wonderful lesson in this little touch in the picture — let us be sure that we understand just what the words say.
We all know that Christ carried our sin when He went to the cross. We know, too, that we may cast our burdens upon Him. But here we learn that Christ wants to carry, not our sins only, not our burdens and cares only — but we ourselves! The shepherd took up the sheep itself and laid it upon his shoulders!
Jesus does this "joyfully". Can this be true? Has Jesus really interest enough in any human being on this earth — to be concerned by his wandering, and joyful by his recovery? The thought overwhelms me!
We can understand a shepherd's rejoicing when he bears home a sheep that has been lost. We can understand a mother's joy when her lost child is brought to her door. But that the heart of Jesus rejoiced when He finds us, and joyfully puts us on His shoulders — seems too amazing to be true! Yet here the word stands!
Then listen to Zephaniah: "The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing!" (Zephaniah 3:17)
How dear we are to Christ!