Day 86: Self Sacrifice

John 10:17-21 : Therefore the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down by myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. I received this commandment from my Father.” Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn’t possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?”

Here we learn that Jesus wasn’t killed against His will. He says here that He laid down His own life. He also predicts His resurrection. He said was going to “take it again.” Notice that with the word “Therefore,” Jesus ties this “one flock” of many different sheep that He is creating into the fact that He must lay down His life.

I want to make something very clear here. With the release of the movie “The Passion,” there was a concern that it was promoting blame against the Jews for Jesus death. Sure, it is true that some of the Jews were responsible for wanting Jesus’ death, but Jesus says here that He laid His own life down. He had the power to stop it if He wished. The bigger point here is that Jesus died because we all were sinners. In that sense we are all responsible. In fact, Jesus told us what He thought as He was dying:

Luke 23:34 : Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Jesus death brought a great change and we will be reading more about that.

Notice that Jesus is more powerful than a mere man. He has the power over His own life or death. It is only normal to want to be with the One who has the power over death. If we believe, we are with this One. There was a continued division over Him. Notice that some said He was crazy. If people said that Jesus was crazy, then they will probably say the same thing about you and me. If they say this, because you are like Jesus, then you should be happy because you have become like Jesus and less like the world that hates Him.

Some will even accuse us of being of the devil. We shouldn’t worry about that if we are following Jesus because He said this is a good sign of being on the right side. We can’t expect the opposite team to be happy to see us winning. It isn’t a big surprise when they try to put us down.

Some of the people realized that a bad man could not be doing and saying the things He was. They were willing to accept the supernatural facts and see that they were from God. Today, many fail to recognize any supernatural fact at all. This is a form of prejudice that some take pride in.