Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Of His Own Accord
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?” (John 10:17-21)
The Father loves the Son, Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ redeems his people. It is in redemption and salvation that the Father is glorified, that the Son is Glorified. Jesus says he is going to lay his life down that he might take it up again. Death and resurrection go together. In order for Jesus to rise from the dead, he has to first die.
He makes it a point here that he lays down his life of his own accord. No one takes it from him. It was his plan from the very beginning. It wasn’t plan B, as many pre-millenialists will like to say. He came to do this, he was given authority to do it. But this didn’t make it any easier for him. His resurrection wasn’t a given. He was man just like us, with the same fear of death. He perhaps even had a greater disdain for it than we do. He had of course raised others from the dead, but now he himself would be dead. He had to face it on his own. But only when a kernel of wheat dies does it give birth to life.
It’s a lot of crazy talk on the surface of it. The Jews were divided. Some thought he was insane and had a demon, was possessed. Other’s realized that he did not behave like an insane person even if he talked like one. “Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” They ask. No, but Jesus can, and a man who can do that can rise from the dead. A man who can do that is from God. A man who can do that, does not have his life taken from him, but lays it down of his own accord out of love for those who would not see otherwise.