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"Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the man that is my Fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." (Zechariah 13:7) ************************
THE DEATH OF CHRIST Many people, when they hear or read of the sufferings and death of Christ, have feelings of sympathy stirred within them, but the Savior did not die to cause people to feel sorry for Him. As He made His way to Golgotha, some women followed Him "which also bewailed and lamented Him" (Luke 23:27). He said to them, "Weep not for Me" (verse 28). He did not then, nor does He now need or want the pity or tears of anyone. Everything that happened to Him was according to His eternal purpose. His death was not His defeat, but the defeat of His enemies; it was the time of His greatest triumph. His death was the fatal blow to Satan, the removal of our sins, the satisfaction of divine justice and the bringing in of everlasting righteousness. It was the salvation of His people. He died so God could be a just God and a Savior. All for whom His blood was shed had their sins put away, and they will find out about it at the time divinely appointed. Through the preaching of the gospel, the Holy Spirit will quicken them and bring them to rejoice in WHAT has already been done for them and to believe Him WHO did it. It was through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ that God can pardon sin without compromising His law that demanded death for sin. When we are brought to learn that through the sufferings, death and resurrection of Christ God can be just and justify the ungodly, we will not feel sorry for Jesus, but will rejoice and worship Him. He suffered, bled, died, arose, ascended and took His rightful place at the right hand of God. "God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36). â€“Pastor Jim Byrd ************************
THE SHEEP SHALL NOT WANT "The LORD is my Shepherd I shall not want" (Psalm 23:1). "I shall not want" is the inference drawn from "The LORD is my shepherd." "Want" means the same as "lacked" in Deut 2:7. "These forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing." The sheep shall lack for nothing because Christ is our Shepherd. He is certainly able to supply our needs for He is the Son of God and He is willing to do so as is evident in that He has laid down His life for the sheep to save us from our sins. Notice it is not "I do not want," but "I shall not want." The children of God shall never want for righteousness, for He is "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer 23:6) nor shall we ever want for forgiveness for "the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). "The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing" (Psalm 34:10). We shall not want for spiritual food for His Word is our pasture and His promises the still waters that speak peace to our souls (verse 2). We shall not lack for salvation for "He restoreth my soul;" He is our salvation. We shall not lack for knowledge in the paths of truth and righteousness; He leads us to an understanding of the gospel (verse 3). We need not fear the shadows of death "for Thou art with me" (verse 4). Even when surrounded by enemies, His Spirit is with us to teach us and show us that "our cup runneth over" with all blessings in Christ (verse 5). We shall not lack for preservation for "goodness and mercy shall follow" us throughout our lifetime, and we will "dwell in the house of the LORD for ever" (verse 6). The Lord is our Shepherd "from everlasting to everlasting." Let the sheep of His pasture be assured we shall never want for anything God demands nor anything He deems necessary for us to have during our journey to the land of promise. â€“Pastor Jim Byrd