“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again” (John 10:18).

Playing the blame game for the death of Jesus is a fruitless misadventure. It was not the fault of the Jews, Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, the Roman soldiers, and not even Judas. They were but the personalities and moving parts of a much larger narrative — the unfolding story of God’s redeeming love. The profoundness of Jesus’ death is not fully appreciated until it is realized that he laid down his own life. It was not taken from him, but he gave his life that we might find ours.

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