As we prepare to observe Good Friday, the day we remember Christ’s ultimate sacrifice, I find this a fitting passage of scripture to be in. I’ve heard various arguments in the past about who people felt was responsible for the death of Jesus.
Some would say it was Judas. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, identifying him to soldiers of the High Priest.
Others would say the Romans are responsible. After all, Pilate made the call to release Barabbas and send Jesus to his death at the request of the Jews. Plus, the Romans were the ones who physically nailed Jesus to the cross.
Still others blame the Jews. They played a political game with Pilate, threatening him with his career if he were to release Jesus.
And many would say you and I are responsible, that our sins are what held Jesus to the cross.
But if you look carefully in todays reading, you’ll see that Jesus repeatedly sets the record straight:
John 10:11 “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
John 10:15 “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”
John 10:17-18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
There’s no need for the blame game. There’s only one who can take the credit. Jesus wouldn’t let anyone steal the glory that belongs to Him and His Father, even in death.
John: 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
He willingly laid down His own life, that we might have eternal life. He alone had the power to lay it down. Not Judas. Not Pilate or the Romans. Not the Jews. Not you and I. Jesus alone had the power to lay down His life, and to take it up again.
He does take it up again! To Him be the glory!