Some tourists visited a church in Germany and noticed something which caught their attention. It looked like a lamb had been carved into the top of the steeple. Someone asked about the strange carving and found out the unique story behind it.

When the church was being built, a man fell off the steeple to the ground. As he fell, a shepherd was passing through the area with his sheep, and the man fell on one of the sheep. The sheep was crushed to death, but the man survived.

That’s exactly what Jesus was for every man, woman, boy, and girl on this earth. He was our Sheep, dying in our place so that we wouldn’t have to be crushed by sin. Anyone who trusts in His finished work on the cross can be sure of possessing eternal life. All the guilt, suffering, disappointment, and pain of life has been absorbed by Christ. The crushed Sheep was our perfect Substitute.

Maybe you feel depressed because you’ve been out of work for several months and there’s no new job in sight. Or you might have a job, but you wish you didn’t have to deal with the pressures and attitudes of your boss and co-workers on a daily basis. You’re worn out and ready to quit. Friend, did you know Jesus was tempted with the same feelings you experience? The Good Shepherd understands the way you feel because He’s been there Himself. He endured so you would know you can make it. Your Shepherd was broken so you could be made whole.

The good news is that sin has been dealt with; that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that . . . all who believe in Him can look forward to Heaven. — J.M. Boice

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder