â€œI tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voiceâ€ (John 10:1-5, Holy Bible, New International Version).
Is Jesus the shepherd of your life? On Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is a most momentous time in Christian history. When someone has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they learn to trust him, follow him and obey him. When we give our lives over to Christ, the way God intended us to, we find ourselves in a reciprocal relationship â€” one that cultivates conviction and submission.
It is not enough for Christians to simply believe in Jesus. Even demons believe, and shudder (James 2:19). As Christians, we are to obey him as well, and allow him to be the Lord of our lives, much like sheep trust, follow and allow their shepherd to lead them.
As we remember on Sunday what Jesus did for us on the cross, let us analyze our walk with him. Have we simply accepted salvation as a ticket into heaven? Or have we committed to obey Jesus and the commands he has given us to bring fullness of life into our daily existence? Jesus came unto this Earth, fully God and fully man, and lived through temptation, suffering and humanity so that he could die for our sins â€” sins that he himself did not possess. His love is overwhelming. He would have died for just one, for you, for just me.
As we commemorate his resurrection, allow that love to shape your worldview, your life and your relationships â€” with God and others. How do we treat mankind? Have we become too busy or impatient to deal with our fellow humans? How do we live our lives? Is there hidden sin? Selfish agendas? What is our relationship with our families, friends and God like? Are they pure and full of fruit as God would have it? This may seem like a rattled off list of rules, but God knows what will bring us peace and joy as his created beings. That is why he provided guidelines for us to live by.
As we go about our hectic schedules this weekend, perhaps filled with Easter baskets and chocolate bunnies, let us not forget God's gift to us â€” the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray he is not merely your Savior, but also the Lord of your life â€” governing all choices and deeds. In this, we acknowledge and appreciate the purpose of what he suffered for us.
?The Rev. KIMBERLIE ZAKARIAN can be reached by e-mail at HolyHouse9@gmail.com or by mail at La Vie Counseling Center c/o the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, 650 Sierra Madre Villa, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91107.