Sheep walk along many word paths in the books of the Bible; grazing, resting, sacrificed, or lost. Sheep are mentioned five-hundred times in scripture, more than any other animal. We ourselves are described as sheep.  Psalm 23 is my favorite where the first verse proclaims, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

I recently ran across a story about Baarack, a lost sheep in Australia. Baarack was near death. He carried a heavy burden, a burden of wool.  Barely walking, he foraged for bits of grass made even worse because the wool almost covered his eyes rendering him practically blind. And in the wildness of the woods, predators lurked.

 Found by someone walking in the woods, he was in dreadful condition.  Fortunately for Baarack, he was transported by pick-up truck to Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary near Melbourne, Australia. Their wonderful work is a rescue operation for neglected or abandoned farm animals. Like kind shepherds to animals in need, the staff gently unloaded Baarack when he  arrived.

After removing insects, leaves, and twigs from his matted fleece, they pulled out the shearing tool and began to cut away Baarack’s burden. When they finished shearing, they weighed the fleece.  The scales registered seventy pounds! And the staff name for their rescued sheep is so clever, Baa-Rack!

His before and after photos are an astonishing display of redemption.

 Baarack’s story is our story. We carry burdens too heavy. We are lost in the challenges of life that often render us hopeless. Then, we encounter Jesus, the Perfect sacrificial Lamb, the Eternal Rescuer, the  One Whom God the Father sent two thousand years ago to redeem us.  The One who chose to shed His blood on the cross, making way for the Holy Spirit to shear off the burdens that beset us.

Baarack’s new life began with the kind hands of the farm’s staff. When Jesus rescues us, Matthew 11:28-30 describes our new life:  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

The Perfect Lamb’s blood covers us not with cumbersome burdens but with spiritual life abundant. Our world-blinded eyes are opened to another  world, a world of hope. We feed at a table of love provided and guided by Jesus, our Good Shepherd Who rescues us from ourselves.

Here are ways to follow and learn about the wonderful work at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary: www.edgarsmission.org.au  @edgarsmission, and on Facebook.

The Christmas Shepherds, Levitical Priests for Their Bethlehem Flocks

S hepherds and sheep hold a prominent place in the Bible. The most famous are the Christmas shepherds!   I s it possible that Mary birthed ...