10:10-18 Christ is a good Shepherd; many who were not thieves, yet were careless in their duty, and by their neglect the flock was much hurt. Bad principles are the root of bad practices. The Lord Jesus knows whom he has chosen, and is sure of them; they also know whom they have trusted, and are sure of Him. See here the grace of Christ; since none could demand his life of him, he laid it down of himself for our redemption. He offered himself to be the Saviour; Lo, I come. And the necessity of our case calling for it, he offered himself for the Sacrifice. He was both the offerer and the offering, so that his laying down his life was his offering up himself. From hence it is plain, that he died in the place and stead of men; to obtain their being set free from the punishment of sin, to obtain the pardon of their sin; and that his death should obtain that pardon. Our Lord laid not his life down for his doctrine, but for his sheep.
18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down myself: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again—It is impossible for language more plainly and emphatically to express the absolute voluntariness of Christ's death, such a voluntariness as it would be manifest presumption in any mere creature to affirm of his own death. It is beyond all doubt the language of One who was conscious that His life was His own (which no creature's is), and therefore His to surrender or retain at will. Here lay the glory of His sacrifice, that it was purely voluntary. The claim of "power to take it again" is no less important, as showing that His resurrection, though ascribed to the Father, in the sense we shall presently see, was nevertheless His own assertion of His own right to life as soon as the purposes of His voluntary death were accomplished.
This commandment—to "lay down His—life, that He might take it again."
have I received of my Father—So that Christ died at once by "command" of His Father, and by such a voluntary obedience to that command as has made Him (so to speak) infinitely dear to the Father. The necessity of Christ's death, in the light of these profound sayings, must be manifest to all but the superficial student.