Jesus as Psalm 23
Psalm 23:1 The Shepherd’s job was to protect the sheep.
- To deal with any enemies that came to attack the sheep. Jesus is of course the shepherd, our shepherd.
- And He has laid down His life for us, the sheep.
- To save us from the attacks of the enemy the devil.
- John 10:11 Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd, the word good here in the Greek means winsomely good.
- Jesus is not just good at taking care of us as a shepherd, he is so good that he is attractive to us.
- 10:14 Jesus also says that his sheep will know Him, know His voice.
- This all speaks of intimacy. We need to think and picture this level of intimacy.
- The verse goes on to say that we will not be in want.
- The shepherd’s job was to lead the sheep to green pastures with fresh grass to eat.
- Jesus is the shepherd and he not only leads us, He becomes our sustenance.
- He is the bread of life. He will not leave us in want.
Verse 2 Again, the shepherd was to lead the sheep to new pastures with fresh grass.
- Along with clean and safe waters to drink
- But here, with Jesus, it is different.
- It says he makes us to lie down.
- The verb here is a specialized one in the Hebrew referring to making animals lie down.
- It’s also a causative statement in the Hebrew.
- He makes us lie down, but He does not force us.
- His provision, His grace, His care, His mercy are so great, we are left with no option.
- But to lay down and rest in His provision and grace
Verse 3 This language now begins to move away from traditional shepherd imagery.
- This now begins to speak specifically of Jesus.
- Jesus came to overcome the works of the devil and lead us into righteousness
Verse 4 The reason we only hear this Psalm at funerals is because of this one reference to death.
- But it doesn’t refer to actual death but just the shadow. The shadow that devil used to be able to cast over us.
- The enemy held death over humanity.
- But we no longer have to fear death.
- Jesus overcame death when he arose from the grave.
- Communion reminds us that Jesus rose from the dead and overcame death.
Verse 5 Jesus prepares a table of abundance for us.
- But here is the best part.
- He prepares this table right in front of the devil.
- The devil has to sit and watch Jesus prepare the table
- And he has to watch us eat from the table.
- Every time we eat from the Communion Table, we are reminded that the devil is defeated.
- But the devil also can’t touch this table or what is on the table unless we let him.
Verse 6 Jesus is Good,
- Everything about Him is good, and everything He does is good.
- This Communion table reminds us of His goodness
- The English word follow here misses the point of the Hebrew word used here.
- The Hebrew word means to chase after and purse. It’s a hunting word.
- The goodness and love of God are constantly pursuing us, hunting us down.
- All the days of my life, even when I don’t deserve it.