The majesty of the mountains and the expanse of the oceans remind us of the majesty, wisdom, and power of God. It causes us to question and reflect upon our purpose and role within creation. Who is the Creator of the universe and what is our relationship to this Creator? What should our relationship be to other humans as well as to the rest of creation?
What is the relationship between faith and reason? Why is evil such a difficult problem? What is the purpose of death and the grave? Are they the final end of our human existence when we die and become food for microbes. There have been numerous and conflicting answers to these questions during the course of history. So, maybe we should ask ourselves if it is even possible to know whether or not our answers are correct? Maybe the answer is that there are no real answers to life's questions. Perhaps, our questions are just the meaningless occupation of over-sensitive fools.
... an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth ... Revelation 14:6
"The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth ... we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone ... now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice ..." Acts 17:24-31 — Words Paul spoke to the pagan Greek philosophers
The book of Revelation mentions a gospel that is often overlooked. It is not the familiar gospel of salvation, where, in unmerited grace, a person is offered the forgiveness of sins through faith in the sacrificial death of Christ upon the cross. The gospel in Revelation 14 is called the eternal or everlasting gospel, because it summons humankind to worship the Creator and to fear Him because He is the Supreme Judge of the world.
It is an eternal gospel, because the evidence for an infinitely powerful Creator can be seen from the existence and design of the universe that has testified to everyone since the beginning of time. It is a gospel that pre-dates the Savior’s death upon the cross and applies to everyone, even those who have never heard the gospel of salvation. . Without the knowledge of Christ, the human race has either honored the Creator as supreme or honored something else as supreme, which is idolatry.
As the Good Shepherd, Jesus gave His life for the sheep. We look back to the cross where we see Jesus, as a shepherd, dying upon the cross for us. His death and resurrection were necessary for our redemption. It is through His precious blood that our sins may be forgiven.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. John 10:11
In the eleventh chapter of Zechariah, there are five shepherds mentioned.
1. Jesus as Shepherd
The first shepherd is the Lord Jesus Christ who fed Israel during His ministry among them. Israel is termed a ‘flock for slaughter,’ because its national leaders would reject Him, resulting in the nation of Israel's slaughter by the Roman army under General Titus. In particular, Jesus blessed the poor of the flock with His teachings and demonstrations of miraculous powers. His grace brought salvation to sinners, and His unity brought harmony between people from diverse social backgrounds. He fed the flock with grace and truth (grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17).
So I fed the flock for slaughter, in particular the poor of the flock. I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Beauty (Grace), and the other I called Bonds (Unity); and I fed the flock. Zechariah 11:7