JESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD
11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd.
17For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
This speech was motivated for the discussion between Jews, of under whose authority did our Lord Jesus healed the man born blind in John 9. Some of the Pharisees attributed the healing power of Jesus to demons, while others saw that demons cannot do good to any one, so supported the divine origin of this miracle, and therefore, of the ministry of Jesus (John 9:31-34; 10:19-21).
To this dispute, Jesus lifts the veil of election and predestination.
He openly said, that He is the Good Shepherd, and that unlike the paid, hired shepherds, referring to the pharisees and the temple priests; He will not abandon his sheep, because He is the owner of them, implicitly, revealing his divinity, since only God is the owner of humans
Jesus presents Himself as holding God’s concern for the salvation of humankind, and not just a prophet or elder from God, who would be after all, a minister, an appointed man to take care of God’s flock. Jesus set Himself as the owner of humanity, but also his love for all of us, by giving his life in our defense.
But He also added, that only those who are ‘his’, know his voice (John 10:3, 5) and follow Him; but not the voice of strangers (John 10:5). This refers to the elect; those elected for God to salvation before the creation of the world (Romans 8:29-30), and how they ‘know his voice’ and follow Him. How can a man know the voice of someone he has never met before? Of course, unless this voice has been programmed in the spirit of each chosen and at the right time, it awakes when the real Shepherd calls them out by name (John 10:3) because they know each other. That is why, some people listen and believe in Jesus at different times, and do not follow the calls of other religious leaders who are not from God. Others, like the people who attributed the Lord’s power to demons, are not of his flock, they are not of the elect, and they never come to Christ, and their condemnation is certain.
But Jesus does not stop there.
He also said that He had other sheep who were not of ‘this’ fold (In Jerusalem), in reference to all Jews who were in the diaspora, away in other nations, and non-Jews (John 11:51-52), all united into one flock, in their acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah, Son of God, and Lord (Romans 11:25; Ephesians 2:13; 1Peter 2:25).
In the last two verses (v.17-18), Jesus speaks that it is under the Father’s command that He is ready to give his life as an atonement for the forgiveness of sins of all those who claim forgiveness, in the Holy Name of Jesus, to God the Father (Romans 5:8; Colossians 2:14; 1Peter 2:24). But He also tells us that nobody takes away his life, but it is Him who gives it away (John 10: 18); meaning not only that He does not deserve to die on the Cross, or that God allowed Him to be captured; but that nobody could kill Him.
Being Jesus the New Adam, He was conceived sinless, and in an Edenic state, unable to get old, or sick, or die.
Jesus was immortal, meaning, like Adam before the fall, under normal circumstances, his body will not decay or stop existing.
When Jesus was nailed to the Cross, He resisted torture and mistreatment that could have caused as heart failure to anyone, and the sweating of blood in Gethsemane testifies of it. However, neither the wounds, or the blood loss, or the stress caused Him to die.
God could not let the salvation of humanity, his own purpose and decision, be submitted to human physical failure. What could have happened is Jesus died before He was nailed to the Cross?
Jesus did not die a casual death.
Jesus died to pay for ALL the sins of humanity. There was obviously a length and a process to be fulfilled before that was all completed. That is why once He had paid for all sins, in intensity of suffering as well as length of agony, He yelled: “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30), and willingly, He decided how and when, to exhale, and only then, He decided to die, and so, He did.
Because that was the command of Lord YHWH.