John 10:17-18 are the words of the Lord. There, He says, “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.”

Certainly, God has eternally loved His eternal Son. It’s said of Christ and His Father in Proverbs 8:30, “I WAS DAILY HIS DELIGHT, rejoicing always before him.” Yet, here we read of the Father loving His Son because He laid down His life.” We read prophetically of the Lord Jesus in Psalm 40:8, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” More than just being an obedient Son, the Lord Jesus LOVED doing His Father’s will. And His Father loved Him all the more for being willing to lay down His life. The sacrifice of Himself on the cross was an act of obedience to His Father. Philippians 2:8 says, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became OBEDIENT UNTO DEATH, even the death of the cross.”

Christ laid down His life with the power to “take it again.” HE IS GOD! The Lord had previously said in John 2:19-21, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” Here again, He spoke of having the power, or authority, to resurrect Himself from the grave. How important is the resurrection of the Lord Jesus? 1 Corinthians 15:17 tells us plainly, “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”

Although man is guilty of the death of the Lord Jesus, He here shows that He was in complete control of when and how He would die. We read of times when the Jews sought to kill Him but could not because it was not the right time.

  • Luke 4:29-30, “And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.”
  • John 8:59, “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
  • John 10:39, “Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand.”

Indeed, no one could take His life until the appointed time for the Lord to “lay down” His life for sinners like you and me.

Does this mean that man is not guilty of crucifying the Lord since He said no man could take His life? No it doesn’t. Acts 2:22-24, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” So, it was indeed the will of God that Jesus should die on the cross for our sins, and nothing could interfere with that plan. Yet, man in his wickedness remains responsibility for crucifying Him. How thankful we should be that Christ DID die, that He WAS buried, and that He DID rise from the dead. Let’s end with a few verses from Hebrews to meditate upon. Hebrews 10:12-14, “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (236.6)