‘And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.’ So you see Christ is the chief Shepherd at the second advent; then shall the world be astonished to find that though alone in atonement, and alone in justification, he is not alone in service or in glory. Then every minister who has fed his sheep, every teacher who has fed his lambs—all of you, holy men and women, who have in any way whatever contributed under him towards the guidance, and the government, and the feeding, and the protection of his dear, blood-bought flock—you shall appear. He has no crown, you perceive, as the good Shepherd; we do not read of a crown for him as the great Shepherd, but when he comes ‘with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him’, then shall you also appear with him in glory, having the crown of life that fades not away. I do not know whether this peculiar circumstance interests you, but it did me when I observed it: Good in his dying, great in his rising, chief in his coming. It seems to me to gather such force—good to me as a sinner, great to me as a saint, chief to me as one with him in his glorious reign. I pass, as it were, through three stages—as a sinner I look to the good Shepherd laying down his life for the sheep; I reach higher ground, and as a saint I look to the great Shepherd to make me perfect in every good work to do his will; I mount higher still, I die, I rise again, I walk in resurrection life, and now I look to the chief Shepherd, and hope to receive at his hands the crown of life which he shall give to me, and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing—the good, great, chief Shepherd.
For meditation: Spurgeon gives descriptions of Old Testament types of Christ as a shepherd—Abel, the shepherd slain (Genesis 4:2,4,8); Jacob, the toiling shepherd (Genesis 31:38–41); Joseph, reigning in the world for the good of his own people (Genesis 37:2; 49:22–24); Moses, the shepherd of a separated people (Exodus 3:1; 10:9,24–26); David, the shepherd as king in the midst of his church (Psalm 78:70–71). Are you one of Christ’s flock?