“The Power of a Laid Down Life” John 10:11-21

Job famously said, near the beginning of his ordeal, “The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” We love the giving Lord, but we often wrestle with and try to explain away the Lord who takes from us what He has given to us. We can’t understand how God could give Abraham a son and then ask for that son to be sacrificed, how God could promise the family that would become the nation of Israel that they would possess the land they lived in and then lead them to Egypt to become slaves. The disciples weren’t unlike us, they could not process how God could send the Messiah and then have Him die at the hands of the very people they were waiting for Him to overthrow. The LORD gives and the LORD takes away because the Lord is always doing much more than we understand. God was testing Abraham’s faith and revealing His provision, He was using Egypt to become the furnace that would turn the family of Jacob into the nation of Israel and Jesus, the Messiah was sent to live from the Law and die for our sins, to free us from the enemy that bound our hearts, not the one who has inconvenienced our lives. “The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away.” In today’s text, Jesus reveals that there is something even more powerful, there is a next step to what Job said, the Lord raises us up so that we can lay down. In our text, Jesus says, four different times that He gives or lays down His life, in John 15:13 He said, “There is no greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” This morning my prayer is that we will learn from Jesus’ example and begin to believe that abundant life is not when God gives us more, but when we lay down what we’ve already been given. The power is not in what we hold, but in what we give away, not in what we cling to but what we let go of, not in what we take up, but in what we lay down. If life in Christ is living like Christ, then we must learn that living like Christ is laying down our lives so that life can be given to others.