He Laid Down His Life

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.  I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.  This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10:17-18

I was preparing for a lesson the other day about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and these verses really stuck out to me and I’ve been thinking about them ever since.  Jesus tells the people here that His life is not going to be taken from Him on the cross, but that He is going to lay it down of Himself.  Think about that.  Never did a man die like that.  No man ever laid his own life down, much less take it up again.  That was the power that Jesus had.  We may speak of some hero “giving his life” to save someone else, but that does not even come close to describing what Jesus is talking about here.  Jesus says that He has power to lay His life down and He has power to take it up again. 

In the second part of John 19:30, Jesus says “It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost”.  He gave up His life.  It was not taken from Him.  At any point during the awful trial, at any point during the scourging, at any point during the crucifixion itself, He could have stepped down, healed Himself and destroyed all those who opposed Him.  The Jews and the Romans thought they were taking His life, but they were mistaken.  He was laying it down.  He was laying it down for you and me.  He was giving Himself as a perfect, spotless sacrifice for our sins.  Oh what a Savior!

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