Jesus: Killed or Sacrificed?
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.” — John 10:17-18
So this text gets after a very important detail about the life and death of Jesus. You see everyone believes that Jesus lived and died. Even atheists believe that Jesus lived and died. The challenge comes in how you perceive what actually happened as Jesus lived and died.
Jesus explicitly communicates the unfolding events of his life and death, revealing his identity and purpose beforehand. He conveys four significant aspects. Firstly, he identifies himself as the Good Shepherd, emphasizing that he is the one whom people should follow. Secondly, he affirms his obedience to God's command. Thirdly, he informs that he will willingly expose himself to danger to safeguard God's people. Lastly, he clarifies that his sacrifice is intentional and not a mere occurrence forced upon him.
What unbelievers often fail to recognize about Jesus is that the scheming and malicious actions of religious authorities did not hold any ultimate authority over him. Jesus was not taken into custody, sentenced, scourged, and crucified on the cross as a mere helpless victim. He was never powerless or at the mercy of others. Therefore, it is inaccurate to describe his death as a killing or murder.
Rather, Jesus willingly chose to sacrifice himself. He exercised his own authority and power, deliberately putting himself in harm's way. His act was one of selflessness and sacrificial love, not a random or accidental occurrence. And throughout the entire process, Jesus remained in complete control.
So if you see Jesus as the embodiment of divine authority, then the significance of his life and death becomes even more profound. Jesus's act of laying down his life was not a defeat or a tragic ending; it was a demonstration of unparalleled love and obedience. Through his death and resurrection, Jesus conquered sin and death, offering salvation and eternal life to all who believe in him. He triumphed over every force that sought to oppose him. In his selfless act, he provided a path to eternal life.
I hope this truth inspires you to follow the faithful Good Shepherd cause, fellas, he is in full control.
- How does understanding that Jesus willingly sacrificed Himself out of love and authority impact your perception of His death and resurrection?
- How does it deepen your appreciation for His act of redemption?
DO THIS: Believe Jesus was the divine authority he told us he was.
PRAY THIS: God, help me grasp the profound love and obedience He demonstrated, and inspire me to follow His example of selflessness and sacrificial love in my own life. Thank you for the gift of salvation and the restoration of our relationship with You through Jesus. Amen.
PLAY THIS: In Christ Alone.
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