2014-01-11 - The Good Shepherd
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." John 10:11 (NIV)
In the second century, as in some places today, the early Christian church faced persecution. Believers were imprisoned, tortured and killed. The church was forced to go underground, literally.
The Christians held church services below ground, in the catacombs, which were burial tombs. A catacomb was about eight feet long and five feet high. A catacomb was a burial vault holding several corpses. Here was where the believers had church.
About 60 catacombs are open for viewing in Rome today. On the walls are some drawings made by the believers. The drawing seen most often is that of a shepherd with a lamb on his shoulder. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, was there with them. He was carrying the early church on His shoulders. The believers survived and prospered.
When we face opposition and persecution today, we need to remember that the Good Shepherd will carry us to safety, as well.
Richard Moser, Jr