“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”
Roman K. | Russia
Christ speaks of Himself here as the good shepherd of Israel and those saved from other nations. This imagery is often used in Scripture as a clear illustration of God’s care for us. A shepherd’s labor is marked by difficulty and danger. Every shepherd risks his life when he goes out to pasture his flock. Christ’s mission, however, did not involve the risk of death, it included the certainty of death—He came knowing He would die. Christ’s mission, however, did not involve the risk of death, it included the certainty of death Death was not an undesirable outcome, but a desirable one. Christ declares that the salvation of His flock requires not just the presence and protection of the Shepherd, but first His death in place of the sheep. This is why He came. What a reminder this is of our need for a substitute, the depth of our sin, and the necessity of Christ’s death and His great love for us. Christ also brings to light the divine plan of salvation and the amazing harmony between the Persons of the Trinity. The Father loves the Son and the Son in His ministry willingly submits to the Father and His command. The Son has the power to rise from the dead and the Father raises Him (Acts 2:24). This passage is filled with excellent theology. Find time to meditate on the beauty of the gospel, the great love of our Lord, the awesome harmony between the Persons of the Trinity in salvation. Praise God the Father for His excellent plan of salvation and Christ Jesus for putting it into action and the Holy Spirit for applying it to us. Thank Christ for being the Good Shepherd.