The Father loves Me because I am willing to lay down My life—but I will take it up again. My life cannot be taken away by anybody else; I am giving it of My own free will. My authority allows Me to give My life and to take it again. All this has been commanded by My Father. John 10:17-18 (VOICE)
Have you ever read the Bible in Job where God is saying "Look at my servant Job. Isn't he amazing!" (paraphrased) and then watch Satan focus on Job to try to break him? Have you ever thought "Lord, I appreciate that you might be proud of me but please don't point it out to Satan." I have. And then, I've read the text that says "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son" and think "No, thank you. I don't want God to give me to anything." And I've wondered what Jesus felt like being "given." It almost feels like he didn't have a choice.
And that thought would be wrong. He did have a choice. In today's text Jesus makes it very clear. "I was willing! It was my choice. I chose to die and I chose to take my life back again. No one forced me!"
In other words "I meant it! I meant it! I meant it! I love you and that was the driving force behind my decision." He wasn't forced. He chose the hard thing so we could choose life.
Jesus, oh Jesus, I sit and think about the magnitude of this love. I think about who I have that kind of unconditional love for and honestly, it's a pretty small list. But you, you died for every single person. No matter who they were/are, where they were or are from or what they have done or will do....there is no distinction. Oh Jesus, help me to love like you. Amen.