…the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
and will guide them to springs of the water of life…
– Revelation 7:17 NASB
Some thirty times in the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ is referred to as “the Lamb.” We saw an example yesterday (Revelation 17:14). Here is another. To be used with such frequency, this figure of speech must be particularly important in understanding Jesus.
Notice the irony created in this particular verse: the Lamb is the shepherd! This refers to the fact that God became one of us – that is, He became a human being. God has always been humanity’s shepherd, as depicted in the beloved 23rd Psalm. In the New Testament, however, God dons flesh and walks a mile in our shoes.
Jesus lived human life without sinning. Therefore, when He was killed, He was raised from the dead to heavenly glory. Having demonstrated how a lamb should behave, He took up the shepherd’s staff once again. Only now it was the Lamb being the shepherd.
Notice the Lamb’s placement: “in the center of the throne.” Is Christ enthroned “in the center” of your heart? If so, you know that He “guides you to springs of the water of life.” It’s insufficient to “have Jesus in your heart.” He needs to be “in the center of the throne” of your heart.
When you follow Jesus, you are following someone who has had to deal with temptation just as you do. Your shepherd is not someone who has lived out the entirety of His existence safely ensconced above it all in heaven. He has not kept Himself aloof from our struggles. He has entered in and experienced the struggles of life such that He knows how we feel.
Therefore, as you follow the good shepherd – Jesus Christ our Lord – know that you’re following someone who understands the joys and sorrows of the human soul. He knows firsthand what it’s like to pray to someone He cannot see. This should enable us to trust Him all the more.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Dearest Shepherd and Guardian of my soul, thank you for becoming one of us and thereby demonstrating for us how to live this life. You walked the extra mile that we might see in Your example how we should live and not just hear from Your commandments how we should live. With Your help, I will follow Your lead today and be a lamb in Your likeness…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.