During worship at Christmastime, I saw a picture in my mind of Jesus as the Lamb of God and also as our Shepherd. It was a beautiful reminder of why Jesus came to dwell among us on that very first Christmas. And also a reminder that He still dwells among His people. For we are His people, His sheep, called by His name.
There is the throne. Laying beside the throne is a lamb. Pure, white, unblemished, peaceful.
Then there are all these sheep. Have you ever seen a grown sheep at the end of winter? When it is time for it to be shorn? Dirty, matted, ugly fur all over it. The fur is all you see. You can't see the inside, the underneath. Only the fur. But when it is shorn, the underneath is exposed and guess what? That looks exactly like the lamb that is laying before the throne.
All these sheep are coming to the throne and unto the lamb to be shorn. Each time we present ourselves before the Lord to be shorn, we see that underneath we are just like the lamb. What is already there, the part that was created by God to be like God is revealed.
Being shorn is removing all the "stuff" we have accumulated, hurts, sin, wounds etc. and allowing ourselves to be clothed as he created us.
Problem is as time goes on just like sheep, our stuff grows back. By life, by choices. Then again we come and have that removed. It also struck me that the only time "stuff" does not get back on us is at death which is the final shearing. That is why believers are often so beautiful as death approaches. I have seen one whose beauty was almost translucent, just like the beauty that is revealed when a sheep is shorn.
Another way to say the same thing is:
Picture a lamb
On the throne is God,
The Lamb somehow becomes also the Shepherd who cares for the sheep. He cares for them by shearing them. Removing the accumulation of the days, the years, a lifetime. The sheep then leave, for that moment free and unencumbered. It is a process available at any time and at all times. Our Shepherd is always there calling, wooing and caring for us. His desire that we would be as free and full of joy as a newly shorn sheep. We have learned to come, We know what it is like to come and let Him remove our stuff. But so often we forget. Until the next time. The beauty is we have a Shepherd who never tires of us. Who is always waiting there at the throne to make an exchange of our filthy stuff for his robes of righteousness.