The Sheep And The Shearer

Thursday, April 2, 2015
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Listen while you read: "O Sacred Head Sore Wounded"1 (Lyrics)

A number of years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to New Zealand. One of my many memories of that beautiful country was the number of sheep that roamed the countryside. When preparing for my trip, I read one statistic that sheep outnumbered the human population by about ten sheep for every one person living on these islands.

Seeing that sheep played such a big part in the landscape and the economy, it came as no surprise when one of our tours included a visit to a sheep farm. Here, we were entertained by the sheep-herding skills of the dogs, and later, a shepherd demonstrated his sheep-shearing skills.

The tour guide, who explained what was happening while we watched the sheep being led in to have her fleece shorn, mentioned a hero sheep named Shrek. that had recently become the object of several news and children's stories. Apparently, Shrek had strayed away from his flock and went missing in 1998. In 2004, the rambling ram was found in a mountain cave after six years of wandering on his own. By now, Shrek was three times his normal size and yielded almost sixty pounds of merino wool.

The ewe that was being sheared on the day of my visit weighed more than the man who was shearing her (probably about 160 pounds or 73 kg). Yet, the ewe didn't struggle to escape. Instead, she just yielded to the process and waited in silence until the work was complete.

The memory of this fascinating farm visit was brought back to my mind when I was reading my Bible during the days prior to Easter.

Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (NIV)

This Scripture is a prophecy about Jesus.

Mark 14:60-61a – Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?" But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. (NIV)

Jesus didn't try to escape from the agony and shame that faced Him when He was led to the cross. Instead, He went willingly, silently, with no verbal retorts to those who mocked and jeered while evil men nailed His hands and feet to a crude, wooden cross. Jesus, the Son of the almighty God, sacrificed all that He had — His very life — for us. He took our place to provide a means for each one of us to be forgiven and have a restored relationship with God.

Prayer: Dear God, how humbled we are today as we recall the scenes of Your unjust trial and death on the hill called Mount Calvary. Thank You, thank You, for loving us enough to take our place and to pay the debt for our sin. Remind us once again that there is no greater love than the love of the One Who lays down His life so that we might be redeemed. Amen.

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About the author:

Elaine Ingalls Hogg <>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Elaine for this special reminder.

    Glad to see you back here Elaine and oh the description is telling.

    What can one say except — amen. Praise God for His immeasurable gift.

    Thank you for this reminder, Elaine.

    Thank you Elaine. Nice to see your name accompanying a devotional again!
    May you have a Peaceful, Blessed Easter.

    Dear Elaine,
    I really enjoy your devotional “The Sheep And The Shearer”.
    Thank you.

    Elaine – What a beautiful look at the Saviour as He faced His executioners. Yes, I have wondered why He didn’t stick up for Himself. He went silently as a Lamb to the cross as a sacrifice for our Sin; He offered Himself in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy — drawing us ever closer to Him. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Dear Elaine
    I am a sheep farmer from near the south of the South Island in New Zealand and have just read your daily devotional.
    It was special to read of your time in our country and I could certainly relate to your comments about sheep and the relevance of the lamb lead away to slaughter.
    This is a special day of remembrance and celebration for all who know Christ, all around the world. I pray rich blessings on you and your family on this day.

    Amen Elaine
    This day in the lives of Christians marks the salvation we received from the suffering of Jesus. We give thanks to the suffering servant who gave His all so that we might have eternal life.

    Thank you Elaine for your article.
    It must have been something to see visualized the sheep being sheered and then taking that visualization to a biblical level.
    Oh, how Jesus must have suffered in so many ways (physical, emotional, relational) on the hours leading up to the cross.
    There is truly no way I can give God anything in return except my thank you and acceptance of Him in our lives, and to try to live a life that pleases Him.
    I am so glad my parents shared Jesus with me as a young boy and helped lead me in the sinner’s prayer the day I told my parents that I wanted to become a Christian. I am so thankful I accepted Christ as my Saviour! This world has nothing to offer me, but the Lord has eternity with Him to offer me.

    Loved this piece, thanks for sharing.

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