April 24, 2011
“I Lay Down My Soul So That
I May Take It Again”
Did Jesus Know He Was about To Die?
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I was talking to my a friend of mine recently at the beach. He asked me a simple question: “Did Jesus know that He was about to die?” I am sure that many people have this same question. What did Jesus know, and when did He know it?
The Father’s Love for Jesus. Jesus knew about the love that His Father had for Him, and lived in that love every day. A friend of mine told me about his grandson, and how that child’s father never provided child support, sent cards or letters, and never remembered birthdays. Jesus enjoyed a very different relationship with His heavenly Father. Jesus said: “the Father knows Me and I know the Father . . . ” (John 10:15). Jesus also said in the same passage that the Father loved Jesus because Jesus laid down His soul so that He may take it again. Jesus not only knew about His impending death, but He understood why He was going to die, and He was fully in charge of His death.
I Lay Down My Soul. Jesus said quite specifically that He had control over His death when He used the words: “I lay down my soul . . .” (John 10:17). Jesus made His authority very plain in the next verse: “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on my own initiative.” (John 10:18).
I Have Authority To Take It Up Again. Jesus proclaimed that He laid down His soul so that He may take it again (John 10:17). With these simple words, we see the omnipotence of God in Christ Jesus demonstrating absolute power over both life and death. The resurrection of Jesus Christ fulfilled these bold words. Indeed, the empty tomb furnished proof to all men that Jesus had been raised from the dead (Acts 17:31). It was impossible for death to hold Jesus in its power (Acts 2:24). Jesus had the power over death to resurrect whomever He chose, at any time (Mark 5:41; John 11:43; Luke 7:14). Jesus not only knew about the death He would suffer, but He described it in detail beforehand.
He Will Rise Three Days Later. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Man. In Mark 9:31, He referred to prophesies about Himself: “the Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him; and when He has been killed, He will rise three days later.” (see also Luke 9:44; Matthew 17:22-23; Mark 10:34; Luke 18:33). Jesus knew that He would die, and that He had the power to take up His soul again three days later.
So we learn more about the resurrection of Jesus today.
● Jesus lived, knowing that He would lay down His soul to save men from their sins. Jesus died, knowing that He would take His soul again, and live among His redeemed, and resurrect them at the last trumpet, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52).
● When we meditate upon the resurrection of Christ, we rejoice with great joy that Jesus loved me enough to die for me, and to take His soul again to live forever in a resurrection body. He has always had all power over life and death, and removed the power of death from my life by His blood (Hebrews 2:14-15).
● Resurrection Sunday should always leave us thinking about Jesus, worshipping Him, and rejoicing in His power and love.
Application for Today
Today I will praise and worship Jesus the Nazarene, the Christ of God. He laid down His soul because He loves me, and took His soul again so we could be together in love for eternity. I see Him living in triumph over death, as the eternal Prince of Life. Do you believe in His power over death today?