A Shepherd-Shaped Door?
By Anthony Casperson
There’s this video game that has looked interesting to me called Colony Survival. It seems like it’s quite a time-sink, so I haven’t played it. But I’ve been watching a YouTube series playing through the game, cutting out the more grinding moments.
In the game, you build a settlement and add colonists. They have jobs like farming or mining or baking or several other things. All the while, you keep building the colony out and up.
But, when night comes, the colonists go to sleep in their beds…right when the zombies attack. Helpless little colonists die in their sleep by zombie attacks. Not even trying to defend themselves.
While the YouTubers I’ve been watching have now created a strange maze to slow down the zombies and also hired archers to kill the zombies, that was not how it worked when they started. At first, they spent the whole night armed with their own bows reigning death upon the undead. They stood in the only entrance to their settlement ready to down any who tried to enter.
One of the players even began to name his colonists, knowing that he was defending “Steve,” “Clive,” and “Steve-Dave” from the oncoming horde. (Look, I didn’t name these characters.) It was the care he had for these pixilated people that caused him to stand as guardian against the agents of death.
This image of bastion against those who desire to destroy helpless creatures is what Jesus spoke about in his third and fourth “I Am” statements in the writings of John. They are found in John 10:7-18.
Jesus calls himself the Door to his sheep as well as the Good Shepherd. There is evidence that some sheep pens had an opening at which the shepherd would sleep during the night, protecting the sheep. Thus, the two statements can be taken in combination. The Good Shepherd is the Door to his sheep.
Jesus speaks of robbers and thieves, people who want to kill and destroy the sleeping sheep within. But this door protects them from the death and destruction. The door doesn’t lock the sheep in during the day, or punish them for not getting in on time. The sheep can enter and exit freely. Only when the darkness seeks their death does the door keep them from exiting.
And then Jesus moves to speaking about the difference between the Good Shepherd and hirelings. He says that hirelings don’t care for the sheep the way that the shepherd does. When wolves strike in the night, hirelings run, concerned more about their own welfare than that of the sheep.
But the shepherd cares so much for the sheep that he’ll die protecting them. Nothing’s getting through to the sheep that doesn’t first kill him. This statement from Jesus refers to his sacrifice on the cross. He says that he’ll pick back up his life, meaning being resurrected, so that is an obvious reference to what Jesus will do.
He is the Door and the Good Shepherd. There’s nothing Jesus won’t do to protect those who belong to him, both Jew and Gentile. He’ll keep out those who seek the sheep’s destruction and he’ll even die for his sheep. The sheep that he knows by their names.
It’s the care he has for these sheeply people that causes him to stand as guardian against the agents of death, and even death itself.
In the resurrection, Jesus dealt a killing blow to death as he over came it. The darkness has no threat if we are his. As long as we continue to dwell behind his safety, there’s nothing that can get to us.
“I am the door of the sheep. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I know my own and my own know me.” Let Jesus protect you from that which seeks to destroy you.
The agents of death in Colony Survival.