"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep."
Jesus here prophesies that He will die for the sake of all humanity, His flock. Now, I know that I don't have nearly enough faith or understanding to come close to appreciating the full weight of this, but I just have to keep reminding myself that when we talk about Jesus, we're talking about God, the Creator of the universe, and for some reason He loves us lowly creatures enough to die for us. And not just die, but willingly subject Himself to the most shameful execution the Roman world could come up with.
This is simply remarkable to me. I think many Christians are so used to hearing that God loves us that we start to take it for granted. "Of course God loves me -- why wouldn't He?"
But why should He? He didn't even need to create us! He made us out of nothing! We are infinitely below Him in every respect. And yet He loves us. Enough to die a painful, humiliating death for us.
All I can say is, thank God that God is not an aloof, uninterested, uninvolved god. Thank God that God is not the god of the deists. Thank God that God is a compassionate, Self-sacrificing Shepherd Who loves us lowly sheep as His own and has not left us to be snatched up by the wolves of this world.