John 10:17—”Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes 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 command I have received from My Father.”
There are so many things that hit us when we read this power-packed scripture. Each word or group of words has so much punch in it.
“My Father loves me” – Two contexts:
God the Father loves His only Son, Jesus, that He stayed with Him through His trials and left Him only when Christ Jesus took our sins upon Himself to conquer it.
God our Father loves us – Oh yes! He definitely does, that He was willing to even give up His only child for us so that we could have our broken relationship with God (through sin) restored to the Father-child bond.
“Because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.” – Christ’s purpose to come to earth, God as man, was to fulfill the sacrifice so that we would be reconciled to God the Father. Noone took or could ever take the life of Christ. It is Christ who gave Himself up to the trials and crucifixion by man. It is Christ who took all the sins upon Himself, suffered for having them although He Himself knew no sin, and defeated death through His resurrection. “…that I may take it again” is the resurrection part of the life that He laid down.
“I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” – Christ is God who came to earth as man. Therefore Christ has the power, as the Jews rightfully said, to do anything – lay His life down for us, take His life back, get down from the Cross, or anything. Yet, this is what He chose to do. To lay His life down as the sacrifice for all the sins that we committed and are yet to commit – that amounts to quite a large amount of sins!
Why did Christ do this?
“This command I have received from My Father.”
God our Father was full of grief because of our sins and thereby our separation from Him. He wanted us to be close to Him again as in the relationship that He had with Adam and Eve. So He came up with the plan, His plan, the mystery of the Gospel. God sent His Son, Christ Jesus, down to earth and Christ took our sins upon Himself. He stood as the sacrifice offered for our sins to be forgiven. This is the command He received and fulfilled for His Father. This is why Christ said, “It is finished!” on the cross. He had completed the work as per God’s command. He was the obedient son eventhough He was God Himself.
– God loves us like He does His Son, – Only God gives life to His creations and allows life to be taken and not any other power; He knows what’s best for us
– God gave up His Son for us and yet He still loves us
– Christ worked to obey His Father even to the point of death.
What better love can we ever receive compared to this?