His Authority to Give
John 10:17-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.18 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.”
19 There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” 21 Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
This verse that comes to mind as I read this passage is John 15:13- “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus tells us that the greatest expression of love is to lay down your life for another. The amazing thing about Jesus is that he never just tells us something, he always demonstrates it.
At the time of this passage, Jesus was not yet arrested, but the religious authorities were planning on it. Up until now, they had even tried, but “but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” (John 7:30). His hour had not yet come. This line coincides with what Jesus says in verse 18: 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.
When we look at the cross, how often do we remember that this was Jesus’ choice? Maybe we reflect that this was the Roman punishment, or how the religious leaders conspired against him. The truth was, that even though they did conspire against him, he chose to suffer. He entered the world for this very reason. No one had the authority to kill Jesus without Jesus first giving the OK. He reminds us of that when Peter tries to defend him when they actually do arrest him, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53).
Jesus had the power and the authority to stop the crucifixion. Let me say that again, Jesus did NOT have to suffer, he chose to suffer. He says it plainly, no one could take his life, he lays it down. Why did he do this? One reason and the verse that came to mind at the beginning: LOVE. He loves you and me so much that this was the ONLY way to save us and he did it!
Here’s my hope though, Jesus also said, “I have authority to take it [life] up again.” And He Did! He rose again! The story doesn’t end at the cross! Isn’t that amazing? He chose to suffer and die, but then he also defeated death itself for our sake! What a crazy amazing LOVE story!
Wow, Jesus! You are so amazing. Thank You for suffering on the cross and dying. Thank You for choosing to do that because it was the only way to pay for the rebellion of the world itself. Thank You that the story doesn’t end there, that You rose again! Thank You that You are God! Praise You Jesus! I pray Your love become even more real in our lives today, that we may share your love with the world.