HOST: Ron House
For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
Jesus’ statements in this passage are vitally important. He came to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins, but if his life is taken from Him against His will, it cannot be considered a sacrifice. It was in that voluntary shedding of His blood that He became the perfect Lamb of God offered for the sins of the world. If He was to be the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, if He was to exhibit the authority of God as His Son, if He was to be the atoning sacrifice that He was purposed to be, it was crucial that He lay down His own life, and that it not be forcefully taken from Him. While the gospel accounts of the crucifixion seem to show a picture of the Jewish leaders and Romans both taking part in forcefully and wrongfully taking Jesus’ life from Him, it is important to remember that He was never an unwilling party in those proceedings. He had the ability to change the course of those events at any time (Matthew 26:53), but chose to go to the cross for us. His death was truly a sacrifice!
Why was it so important that Jesus’ death be voluntary?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!