From the 23rd Psalm:  “The Lord is my shepherd………”.  The imagery that David, the author, brings to life is that which is necessary for us his sheep.  He talks of green pastures to bring us nourishment and still waters to quench our deep thirst.  He is with me in the darkest vallies and is the one who preparest my table thwarting my enemies.  He tells us that goodness and mercy will be with me on earth and I will be with the Lord forever.

Yet at the time that he wrote this Psalm, David was not able to add a piece of imagery that we are able to know exists today.  The Shepherd carries with him a staff, called a crook.  As His sheep, we know that if we looked closely at that crook, we would see that there is blood on it.  Not blood from striking the sheep to get them to do what the shepherd wants.  Not even blood from striking the evil predators which would attack the sheep.  No, the blood on the crook comes from the wounds on the shepherd’s own hands.  Wounds that carry the promise that none of His sheep will ever die because of any of their misdeeds. 

For this Shepherd, Jesus Christ, trod the path of disaster and death that should be ours.  No evil could ever overtake Him, yet He submitted to death for our sake.  So now, as we see the blood on that staff, we see the proof of His and His Father’s promise.  He did that for us, His sheep.  He did it then and leads us today completely out of love.  So look upon that staff, not with horror or sadness at the red stain, but with awe and admiration and know with that kind of determination on His part, we need only to truly follow.

Peace, joy and love be with all who read this.

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