A minister once encountered a shepherd on a country lane.. “You know,” he said. “You’re the first real, live shepherd I’ve ever met. Do you mind me asking what you think of when you hear the expressions ‘The Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd’?
The answer was more than he ever could have expected.
The old shepherd said, “You know, springtime is a tough time for sheep and shepherds. It’s lambing time. It’s a time of tragedy. When many ewes are giving birth, the shepherd must often deal with problems. Sometimes a lamb dies at birth, sometimes a ewe, giving birth.
Over here is a mother sheep that has lost her baby. Over there is a lamb that has lost its mother. But sheep are difficult animals. A sheep will not take a lamb that is not its own. And so, we have the situation of a mother full of the milk that will not nourish her baby because she has no baby to feed. And we have a lamb, hungry for life-giving nourishment and no mother to feed it.
So this is what the good shepherd must do. The shepherd takes the lamb that has died and washes the orphaned lamb with its blood. Only then will the mother accept and feed the motherless lamb as her own.
And that” the shepherd concluded “is what I know about ‘The Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd’,”