“Now the God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep – through the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, (21) make you perfect in every good work to do His will – working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ – to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” [He.13:20-21]
We now continue to consider this wonderful text of scripture concerning our Lord Jesus Christ as being the “Great Shepherd of the Sheep”. This final descriptive of the Christ of God is also highly significant when it is put in conjunction with the opening statement of the epistle. From where Christ is also exalted as being God’s perfect representative and spokesman — declaring the things of God – to us who are His chosen sinner/children whom He has singled out of all of fallen-in-sin humanity to be made perfect by His great grace! These two statements are like bookends unto the whole context of the message of the epistle of Hebrews. It’s all about the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In the center of the epistle we find the astounding announcement of He.7:12-13 – which concerns all of us, His sinner/children in this law-cursed world – having been made perfect in order to be divinely approved and accepted into God’s all glorious and heavenly presence for all eternity. That great descriptive statement is: “For the priesthood being changed – there is – made of necessity – a change also of (the) law. For He of whom these tidings are spoken – pertaineth to another tribe of which no man gave attendance at the altar.” Hence, the Lord Jesus – the Christ of God – is also forever titled – not only – the Great Shepherd of the sheep – but also as being our Great High Priest! [see: He.4:14] This makes all the difference where all of God’s eternally loved and chosen are concerned! This descriptive declaration is that which connects God’s eternal purpose (for us) with His eternal performance making what He has done (on our behalf) to be entirely perfect!
Jesus, our eternal Savior and Surety, is – in every way – God almighty. Yes, Jesus is all-knowing, all-present, all-glorious and all Holy God. Col.2:9-10 plainly says: “For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead – Bodily…”! And, the next revealing statement of this text is just too wonderful for fallen human words – “…and Ye are complete in Him which is the Head of all principality and power.”
The preaching of the Word of the Cross declares dogmatically that this has all been done – finished – by our Great God, Jesus the Christ. It was all done when He – voluntarily – shed His own Blood and purged us from all of our sins (which the epistle of Hebrews declares dogmatically at it’s very beginning). Having eternally accomplishing the purging of all our sins – He rightfully occupied the sovereign, over-ruling throne of His Great Grace – from where He sovereignly rules over all His sinner/children throughout the generations of fallen humanity. [see: He.1:3;8-9]
This preaching of the Word of the Cross – according to 1Co.1:18 is: “to them who (lit.) are perishing – foolishness – but unto us (lit.) which are being saved – it is the power of God.” And, this is why our Savior is titled: “(that) Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) in – the Blood of the everlasting Covenant…” His sheep being all those whom He knows and all those whom they have – by His grace – come to know Him (Jn.10:14)! “Wherefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider [or, more lit., “fully behold”] the Apostle and High Priest – of our profession [or, more lit., “confession”] Christ Jesus” [He. 3:1]. Praise His All Glorious Name!
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter