The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
Jesus does not lay his life down lightly. He does, however, lay it down deliberately. John 10:17-18 describes this difference. It is a very serious thing that Jesus lays his life down. This is in accord with the plan of God the Father. And we remember that the persons of the Trinity have one and the same plan. It is deliberate. It is a serious matter. Jesus really gives himself. He really dies. And he is really man and really God. There is no mistake here. At the start of verse 18 he says that nobody takes it away from him.
The good news is that Jesus’ action is accompanied by his very deliberately taking up his life again. He lays down his life but he takes it up again in the resurrection. Why would he do that? He does it because that is the will of the Father. It is not the Father’s will that the world should perish. It is God’s will that all should be atoned for and that through trusting in Jesus, the first born of the resurrection, we would all be raised from the dead to new life as well.
This is a very serious piece of good news. Jesus willfully does what is necessary for our salvation. Thanks be to God for his wonderful gift!
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