“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]
The epistle of Hebrews is – by itself – a strong declaration of the sovereignty of Christ, our Savior. These two verses at the end of Hebrews once again, without reservation herald out the Truth that if our eternal salvation be not all Christ – then it is all wrong! “The God of all peace” dogmatically says that our Lord Jesus is – “that Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) in the blood of the Everlasting Covenant”! There is only one – “Great Shepherd”. This speaks volumes unto us!
The incarnated eternal Son of God – the Lord Jesus Christ – is as He.1:3 describes — the “express image” of the very person of Almighty and Sovereign God. And, it is Him who speaks unto us the soul-quickening and life trans-forming Word of God. Praise His Name! When He – “that Great Shepherd of the sheep (lit.) in the blood of the Everlasting Covenant” – “by Himself purged our sins”, [i.e. by Himself – He purified us from all of our sins; see 2Co.5:21] He, then “sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High”! It is from this, Most High vantage point – that He sovereignly reigns over all those whom the Father has given Him [see: Jn.6:37]. It is these who are the “sheep” of His pasture. The “sheep” that He leads. The “sheep” that He loves and cares for. The “sheep” that He knows personally – and who know Him. The “sheep” for whom He died!”
The “Great Shepherd” of He.13 is the “Good Shepherd” of Jn.10. Jn.10:11 proves this to be true. From there Jesus says: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” By the eternally accomplished atonement of Christ – “the Great Shepherd” – eternally secured “Peace” between God and all His sinner/sheep – by having purified them from all their sins in His shed blood! That’s why our text says that, “Now the God of Peace – that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus…(lit.) in the power of the blood of the Eternal Covenant”. This is the Covenant between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – the Everlasting Covenant that concerns the Everlasting Salvation of each and every one of our Lord’s sinner/sheep. And, what’s more — our Lord Jesus is also the Lamb of God – the One Great Sacrifice! He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Re.13:8]
Then Jesus goes on to say in Jn.10:14: “I am the Good Shepherd – and know my sheep and am known of mine.” And, eventually our Lord plainly clarifies for the unbelieving Jews by saying to them vs.26-30: “But ye believe not – because – ye are not of my sheep – as I said unto you. (27) My sheep hear my voice and I Know them and they follow me (28) and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish – neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father which gave them me is greater than all – and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (30) I and my Father are One.” How absolutely wonderful is that!? Praise the Savior!
Remember, the Shepherd doesn’t drive His flock – He leads it. This points to the fact that wherever we end up – our Shepherd was there first. Our “Great Shepherd” is also our “Great High Priest”.He.4:14 substantiates this truth: “Seeing then that we have a Great High Priest – that is passed into the heavens – Jesus the Son of God – let us hold fast our profession.”
We will look more deeply into these things next time.
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter