A Sacrifice!

Blog for July 31, 2021

A Sacrifice!

In John 10 we find the following passage:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep … No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.” (John 10:14-18, NLT)

We have all thought about Jesus as the Good Shepherd and it’s a comforting picture. He knows each of us by name and leads us to the things we need and through the tough times – a reference back to one of the most loved Psalms of all times – Psalms 23.

But here, in these verses we see something even deeper.

Jesus has the power to lay down His life and to take it up again.

When He was arrested, tried, and crucified, things were not out of His control. At any time He could have stepped away from it.

He was not a martyr – a martyr has no control over his or her destiny.

He was a sacrifice, a willing sacrifice. He stepped into the role because it was the only way to win the war against Satan and to save us from his power.

Paul put it like this in Romans 5:

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:6-8, NLT)