“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 1 Peter 2:24-25, NIV
As a young boy in primary school, I experienced a route march at night in the dark forests around Graskop’s Leadership School. We received a map and a compass, and had to be at a certain point at a predetermined time. Our compass was defective. We got totally lost in the darkness. This was in the time before mobile phones, we had no communication device to call for help. When we had not arrived at our destination at the set time as expected, the staff started searching for us. Hours later they found us, kilometres away from where we were supposed to be. We were scared, hungry and very cold. We were extremely glad to be found!
Our Lord created us to journey with him on the path of life. We were called to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus. He is our Shepherd, the Overseer of our lives. But, as humans, we have this annoying habit of straying off course. We want to do things our own way. In the process, we get lost and hurt.
Over the Easter weekend, we celebrated that our Lord Jesus came to this world to seek out God’s children. We were lost – he has found us. He has paid the price for our iniquities. He came to restore our relationship with God. These words became foundational for our lives: “by his wounds you have been healed.” He found us, healed us and made us whole again. He put our feet upon a new path, the Way of life.
Now it is crucial for us to remain on course. We were set free to follow our Shepherd. To honour him as the Overseer of our souls, to respect his authority over our lives. We live for him and obey his commands. When we ask about God’s will for our lives, the words of Jesus in John 15: 10-12 guide us: “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.”
To follow Christ is to have life, peace and joy in abundance. It transforms our lives, and those of the people we love.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I was lost, you came to find me. Thank you for the cross, and the empty grave. Thank you that I have found my Shepherd, the Overseer of my soul. Help me to follow you alone, and to serve you all the days of my life. Amen.