When looking at the nation of Israel Jesus described them as sheep without a shepherd, skinned and thrown about but in what way and by whom?
The account in Matthew 9: 35 “And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.36 On seeing the crowds, he felt pity for them, because they were skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” He was on a preaching tour, yes people were under pressure from the Roman Taxes and the local social structure but Jesus was discussing the spiritual condition of the people.
Notice how he described their shepherds in Matthew 23:13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you shut up the Kingdom of the heavens before men; for you yourselves do not go in, neither do you permit those on their way in to go in.” and verse 15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you travel over sea and dry land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him a subject for Ge·henʹna twice as much so as yourselves“.
Their hypocrisy created a stumbling block for the nation. Preventing them from seeing the Messiah or Christ, they failed in their self-appointed role as custodians of God’s Law.
He expressed his care for the individuals in the crowds, they needed physical healing but more importantly, they needed comfort from the scriptures and real hope. That is why he said in Matthew 9: 37 “Then he said to his disciples: “Yes, the harvest is great, but the workers are few.38 Therefore, beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”
People needed the care of the Kingdom promised from the founding of the world, the life of Abel the first faithful human.
Literally today we are in a similar place. Those so-called self-appointed custodians of truth and faith the Churches and their leaders trap individuals into a notion that we have to die and go to heaven to experience “real life”, to be in a place of true safety.
Is this what Jesus sacrificed his life for? So those people already destined for heavenly life because of their immortal soul could somehow balance an unnecessary scale. It makes absolutely no sense. If I’m going to heaven to be with Christ why do I need a redeemer?
Christian Truth is very straightforward, but just like sheep who are left unattended to wander from pasture to pasture and never get close to the lush pastures prepared for them, they are skinned, unloved, uncared for spiritually and they are dying without intervention.
So why did Jesus have to Die?
Let the Apostle Paul answer that at Romans 5: 12 “That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned” Adams sin brought death to Humanity but note the contrast in verse 19 “For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.” Paul also makes the point at 1 Corinthians 15: 21 “For since death came through a man, resurrection of the dead also comes through a man.22 For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.”
If we had immortality in ourselves through a soul this statement confuses a Christian but attending the commemoration of Jesus’ Death this April on the 15th after the sun has set where you are. Join one of the Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to hear an explanation of why Christ Died and that although close to the end of the period of harvest we are assured that there is still time to experience the compassion of Jesus Christ as we continue to be Skinned and Thrown About as sheep without a shepherd.
Studying God’s Word, his promise and understanding his plan for humanity has never included suffering and death but this is a consequence of our own human parents rejecting the source of life. Literally, they pulled the plug on their own life support. Hence the shared human condition.