April 19, 2011

A Willing Sacrifice

John 10:11-18

“I lay down my life … No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”
John 10:17-18


“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). When Jesus offered that prayer from the cross, he willingly gave up his life. He wasn’t fighting back, or resisting it. He was simply entrusting his spirit to the care and keeping of God.

Luke says that Jesus called those words out with a loud voice, but it wasn’t a cry of desperation like we heard earlier, when he said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Nor was it a shout of triumph like his words “It is finished”! No, these were simply words of trust, calmly spoken in a loud, confident voice.

Earlier, Jesus had told his disciples, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… 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.”

Jesus wasn’t forced to do anything for us. What he did for you and me, he did willingly.

He chose on his own to lay down his life as a sacrifice for his people everywhere. We see that willingness in his final words from the cross: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

What a Savior!

Lord God, thank you that Jesus gave his life for us without reservation, even while we were yet sinners! Thank you, Jesus, for choosing obedience so that we may have life! Amen.

About the author — Shawn Brix

Rev. Shawn Brix has served as pastor in several Ontario churches. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children.

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