Do you ever repeat lines from movies or television shows that you’ve watched and use them in daily conversation? I do. My favorite line from a movie called, “Judgement Night” is said from the evil antagonist to a low level drug dealer who is trying to look big in the eyes of his friends as they stand off in a confrontation. He tells the antagonist quote, “I’ll take your money”. Then hears the response, “No, you can’t take my money, but you can take my money”; indicating that he doesn’t have the power to forcefully take his money, but he is being allowed to take his money in an effort to quell a tense situation. It is this line that I think about when I read these words from Jesus in John chapter 10, verses 17 and 18 which says:
"The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life - only to 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 authority to take it up again. This command I receive from my Father."
Just like the man in the movie who gave permission to “take” his money, Jesus allowed us to “take” his life. The Jews may have thought they took Jesus’ life by force, but we know that no one can do that. Jesus says, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down”. So in essence he is saying that the Jews can’t take his life, but they can take his life. Jesus knew all along that it came down to his decision to obey God. It had nothing to do with man’s authority, power or strength, even though his persecutors thought otherwise. I say all of that to accentuate Jesus’ love for us. He put it best when he said “greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. Jesus freely gave it, no one took it.
Jesus laid his life down for us. No one took it from him. No one had the power, authority or strength to take his life. But aren’t you glad that Jesus didn’t resist? For our sake, he submitted to God’s plan and allowed man to mock him, to torture him and to ultimately crucify him. I encourage you to think about what he did - especially in light of knowing that all the while Jesus knew that no one takes his life, but he was willing to lay it down.