The prophet Zechariah predicted that when the shepherd was struck, the sheep would be scattered (Zech. 13:7). And the gospel writers record that this was in fact fulfilled when Jesus was arrested, tried, and killed. His disciples scattered (Matt. 26:31; Mark 14: 27).
But there was more to it. When the shepherd was struck, in that immediate moment, the sheep were truly scattered. But there was a recoil. Jesus also predicted that when He was crucified, the result would be a great ingathering.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).
We also see this truth in the great benediction of Hebrews 13.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:20–21).
What instrument does the great shepherd of the sheep use in shepherding His flock? He uses the blood of the everlasting covenant. He uses the fact of His crucifixion, the fact that He was struck. The reality of His shed blood is what He uses as His shepherd’s crook. As preachers of the gospel declare how He was struck, the fact of this declaration is what gathers the sheep.
So another saying is also true—strike the shepherd, and the sheep are gathered.