Yesterday I ran into one of my neighbors who had just returned from walking her baby at the park. She told me that as they were walking down the path, she spotted two of the strangest looking dogs she’d ever seen. Though she’s a dog lover, she couldn’t quite figure out what breed they were.
Then as she approached them, she discovered the reason. They weren’t dogs at all. They were sheep. On a leash. Sheep. I’m not sure what the lamb leash laws are for Lexington, but apparently they’re pretty strict.
My neighbor went up to talk the, um, shepherdess, and the lady told her she was visiting her daughter-in-law so she brought her sheep. Of course. Who wouldn’t?
The best part is that Little Bo Peep’s park sits between two fairly affluent neighborhoods in the city. I love the idea of the sheep riding around town with their heads out the window of a Lexus.
I wonder at what point you leash-train your sheep? Do you have to start them as babies or send them to lamb obedience school? Do they do any tricks? Sit up, roll over, turn into a sweater?
Lamb on a leash. Seems pretty ridiculous, right? But how often do we try to do the same thing to Jesus, the Lamb of God?
No, Jesus, you can’t lead me to that place. We’re going over here. No, Jesus, I can’t give that much. I can’t afford it. I’m sorry Jesus, I can’t forgive him for that. I can’t.
The Bible tells the story about John the Baptist hanging out by the river one day, and when Jesus walked over the hill, he said, “There He is, the Lamb of God!”
The whole park incident made me think about how insane it is to try put this all-powerful Lamb of God on a leash. It’s been tried before and didn’t work out so well.
The religious leaders tried to put Jesus on a leash, but he broke all of their rules, healing people when he wasn’t supposed to, loving people they hated.
His friends tried to put him on a leash too. When Jesus told them He was going to die on the cross, his friend Peter said, “Never. No way. I am not going to let that happen.”
Even his family tried to reign him in. His half brothers thought He was out of his ever-loving mind and were ready to come and take Him home before this whole Son of God thing got Him into too much trouble.
But the only the leash Jesus ever wore was self-imposed.
Christ was truly God.
But He did not remain equal with God.
Instead He gave up everything and became a slave,
when He became like one of us.
Christ was humble.
He obeyed God
and even died
on a cross.
– Phil 2:6-8 (CEV)
Even when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, He told Peter to put away His sword. He could call down legions of angelic warriors to blow these guys off the face of the planet in a heartbeat. But He didn’t.
Yeah, He willingly wore that leash.
He willingly died in my place. Scapegoat. Lamb of God.
But that was a long time ago. 2,000 years have passed. And now that Lamb is a conquering King.
Maybe it’s time I stopped acting like Jesus is my pet. Maybe instead, today, I let Him lead.
What would my life look like if Jesus were truly unleashed?
©Jason Byerly 2011