|Henry Ossawa Tanner|
The Good Shepherd, 1920
To me He said: "Stay close to Me,
I am your Rock and Castle.
Your ransom I myself will be;
for you I strive and wrestle.
For I am yours, and you are Mine,
and where I am you may remain;
The foe shall not divide us."
"Dear Christians One and All Rejoice"
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546
Sometimes I wonder if Jesus will be happy to see me in heaven. After all He's suffered on my behalf, after all I've done to offend Him... Sometimes, I forget that Jesus gave His life for me willingly: no one forced Him. No one could have. That's what makes His love so astounding: while we were sinners, He wanted us with Him so badly that He died so that we would be sinners no longer and given a place next to Him in heaven. There will never be anyone happier than Jesus on the day He gets to see each of us face to face. A good shepherd never resents His sheep.
“For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father."(John 10:17-18)