John 10:17, 18 say: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takethit from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (John 10:17, 18).”
These verses are often used to support the idea that Jesus did not really, truly, and fully die, and that he was able to raise himself from the dead.
These verses must be harmonized, however, with other texts such as Isaiah 53:12 which says that Jesus “poured out his soul unto death,” and with over thirty texts in the New Testament that teach that Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father.
According to Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of The New Testament, the Greek word that is translated “I might take” also means “to receive (what is given), to gain, to get, to obtain, to get back.”
The same Greek word is used in verse 18 but is translated “received.
Christ laid down his life that he might receive it again.
The Greek word that was translated “power” (exousia) means power in the sense of “authority” or “permission” rather than the power of physical force.
Let us read the verses again with a more consistent translation of the words.
Jesus said: “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might receive it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to receive it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.”
Christ had the authority or permission to lay down his life so that he could receive it again from his Father. Christ could not, and did not, raise himself from the dead, for then he could not have been dead.
In the prophecy of Christ’s complete death, recorded in Psalm 88:8, Christ says, “I am shut up, and I cannot come forth.”
To make the claim that Jesus Christ raised himself from the dead would be to directly contradict the words of Christ, for Christ said, “I can of mine own self do nothing (John 5:30).”
It would also contradict at least thirty verses in the New Testament that say that Christ was raised from the dead by his Father.
Paul, writing in Galatians 1:1, states that “God the Father… raised him from the dead.”
The Bible’s testimony that Christ died completely and that his Father raised him from the dead is overwhelming. Isaiah 53 speaks of the complete death of Christ:
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin…he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Isaiah 53:10, 12).
According to the Bible, the soul of Christ died. It was his soul that was made an offering for sin. A dead person cannot even think, let alone raise himself from the dead.
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