Don’t lose sight of the place where this verse is said. It comes at the end of a section where Jesus’ innocence is proclaimed; where Peter echoes Isaiah in reminding us of how Jesus did no wrong yet took our wrongs on Himself. Before that, Peter had exhorted his friends to submit to both God and men out of respect for Christ. And now Peter says this.
Because we’re sheep going astray. Sheep lose their way. Sheep wander off and get lost. Sheep are bright enough to know the voice of their shepherd but not bright enough to always stay in ear-shot of it. Sound familiar? We are poor little lambs who have lost our way…baa baa baa. Say, is that coat of yours Angora?
Thank God the Shepherd was looking for us. Thank God we were the one and not the ninety-nine. Thank God He didn’t give up. Thank God for Jesus because, thank God, Jesus is merciful.
Jesus sees past my pettiness. Jesus sees past your grudges. Jesus sees past the rioters’ vicious hatred and the bigotry of low expectations from our society. Jesus sees when the lies become like truths. Jesus sees us as we are: smelly, dumb, weed-eating, tangled-fur sheep, wandering off when we should be staying close.
Instead of letting us be attacked by wolves, Jesus protects our hearts. Instead of letting us die alone, Jesus makes us His friends, His siblings. Instead of giving us the smack on the head that we deserve, Jesus brings us His justice and His forgiveness. Instead of shearing us before the slaughter, Jesus cleans up our hearts and takes our place in the executioner’s dock.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that Jesus, who was innocent, who did no wrong, who took our infirmities on Himself, still watches over us even when we walk away looking for greener pastures.
Because Jesus understands we’re like sheep. Because He’s been there. Because He’s a sheep too, following His Father’s lead, following as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Because He was the true Passover lamb, sacrificed for our deliverance so that death would pass us by.
You get the picture. Baa baa baa.
For further reading: 1 Peter 2:26
Lord Jesus, I’m like a sheep. In fact, sheep are better than me in many ways. But thank You for chasing after me, for saving me, for watching over me, for loving me.