Since biblical days, the dove has symbolized peace. After the flood, Noah sent out a dove to find land. At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit came upon him as a dove. Today, the dove is associated with peace, love, and nonviolence. Another biblical symbol is the shepherd. Since shepherds were common in Bible times, the Scriptures used the symbol of shepherd to convey vital truths. The Bible presents Jesus as the Good Shepherd, Great Shepherd, and Chief Shepherd. Here are Jesus’ words from John 10:11: “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” Jesus did exactly that for us because he loved us so much. We read in Hebrews 13 that Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep, one who has ratified an eternal covenant for us by shedding His blood. By dying and rising from the dead, Jesus confirmed that He was God’s appointed redeemer. He paid the necessary price to atone for our sins. Now that He is alive from the dead, as our Great Shepherd, He provides for believers all our needs, as David recounted in Psalm 23. As the Chief Shepherd, He will one day reward His under-shepherds—those who have faithfully cared for His people. So Jesus as Shepherd symbolizes the love and care God has for us, His people.
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