I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them … and he shall be their shepherd. Ezekiel 34:23.
Jesus found access to the minds of His hearers by the pathway of their familiar associations. He had likened the Spirit’s influence to the cool, refreshing water. He had represented Himself as the light, the source of life and gladness to nature and to man. Now in a beautiful pastoral picture He represents His relation to those that believe on Him. No picture was more familiar to His hearers than this, and Christ’s words linked it forever with Himself. Never could the disciples look on the shepherds tending their flocks without recalling the Saviour’s lesson. They would see Christ in each faithful shepherd. They would see themselves in each helpless and dependent flock.
This figure the prophet Isaiah had applied to the Messiah’s mission, in the comforting words, … “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom” (Isaiah 40:11). David had sung, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). And the Holy Spirit through Ezekiel had declared: “I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them.” “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.” “And I will make with them a covenant of peace.” “And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid” (Ezekiel 32:23, 16, 25, 28).
Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. In Jesus, as shown in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelation of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples, and in the miracles wrought for the sons of men, they have beheld “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and through Him they are brought within the fold of His grace. Many have come presenting other objects for the faith of the world; ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God, and thus find entrance to His fold. But the only door is Christ, and all who have interposed something to take the place of Christ, all who have tried to enter the fold in some other way, are thieves and robbers.
“He that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” Christ is both the door and the shepherd. He enters in by Himself. It is through His own sacrifice that He becomes the shepherd of the sheep