“No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18
Jesus was talking about Himself as being the good shepherd. He was willing to lay His life down for His sheep, unlike those who are not a good shepherd, but a hired hand.
All over the world people dedicate themselves to do certain jobs. They love that job, or the love the paycheck and are willing to go the extra mile to do the job. However, in those jobs, very few people would be willing to directly sacrifice their lives for that job. It the sacrifice has to occur, it is because it was unavoidable, but not on purpose. Very few soldiers sacrifice their physical life on purpose for another.
Giving one’s life for someone else is not an easy thing to do. There has to be an extreme amount of love for the other person in order to do that. Very few people are willing to do that. It is only done in extreme cases, and then not directly meant to be done.
Jesus went to the cross of purpose to die for every person. He allowed the people to ridicule Him, whip Him, drive the nails into His hands and feet and to hang Him on the cross. Through it all, He did not cry out or fight back in any way.
Those who hung Him on the cross, did not have any authority to put Him there. It was all done by the choice of Jesus. This showed true love and commitment. He did not back down from a hard choice to make.
God may never ask you to physically lay down your life to die, but He wants you to lay down your life before Him. Allow your sinful, selfish self to die and be raised to serve Him. Do this because of what Jesus has done for you.
Jesus died on the cross for you. He laid down His life, so that you could have life. He did not die on accident or by the hands of man, but by His own choice.
Accept the abundant life that Jesus is providing for you. Know the tremendous love He has for you. Lay your life down for Him.
I pray today that you will know the love Jesus has for you; that you will lay your life down for God; that you will tell others of His love for them; and that you will know God is in control.