ODJ: He broke our fall

January 19, 2013 

READ: John 10:1-20 

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep (v.11). 

Have you, like me, ever had a person in your life who in many ways is a friend, but is also your toughest critic? If so, do you wonder how to respond properly to this person? 
Last year Brad Pitt was hobbling around with a cane after having torn his ACL—a ligament in his knee. He told reporters, “I was carrying my daughter down the hill and I slipped. It was either her or me” who would get hurt. Brad Pitt loved his daughter so much that took the brunt of the fall for her. Obviously, Pitt is not Jesus and tearing an ACL wasn’t death, but his sacrifice for his daughter is an illustration of the way Jesus sacrificed His life and carried wounds and death in His body for us. Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11). 

One of the responsibilities of a good shepherd was to protect the sheep from danger. He would lie across the opening of the gate at night to ward off dangerous predators. He would not just lie there to frighten away wild animals, but if necessary the good shepherd would give his life for his sheep. 

When Jesus said He was the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep, He knew that humanity was in mortal danger from sin and the only way people could be saved was through His supreme sacrifice. He knew He would die (v.11). 

Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and He proved it by giving His life for our benefit (vv.14,17-18). He was falsely accused, condemned to die, mocked, beaten beyond recognition, spat upon and nailed to the cross. He took the pain and punishment that should have been ours. He absorbed the impact of sin and death in His own body so that He could overcome our fall and save our lives. 

Just as He has sacrificed His life to save ours, we’re obligated to thank Him and make sacrifices to break the fall of others. —Marvin Williams 

Based on 1 John 3:16, what should be your response to Jesus’ sacrifice for us? How will you live this out? 
How can you show your gratitude to Jesus today for His sacrifice for you? What sacrifice can you make for someone else this week?