This is why the Father loves me—because I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again. This commandment I received from my Father. (John 10:17,!8 NET)
All of us are sinners in the eyes of God and the people we interact with in life, and the Bible says that the wages of sin are death—eternal death. But the Father sent His Son into the world to die in our place. Innocent of any sin, even though He lived for approximately 33 years in the same world we live in, Jesus could be punished for ours; He could pay our debt of sin. And so, in the cross we see the justice and love of God: sin had to be punished—a just god could not treat evil and sin in a nonchalant manner. Therefore God allowed His One and Only Son to bear the penalty for our sins—He came up with an amazing plan to save us, and proved that he had loved us from the very beginning of time.
When Jesus was arrested, tried, and condemned to die by wicked men, it was all in God's plan. Jesus had known that He would need to do this; He did not die because He was weak, because His plans failed, or because the devil and evil men were too strong for Him. Today’s passage recounts Him saying, “I lay down my life, so that I may take it back again. No one takes it away from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the authority to lay it down, and I have the authority to take it back again.” Isn't this an amazing truth! You and I have been in God's plans before the worlds were created. The Father and the Son went to the greatest extreme—a shameful, horrible death on the cross—to prove Their love for us and that They want us to live with Them forever in the new heavens and new earth.
The cross of Jesus lifts us up to heaven. We see our worth in the eyes of God the Father and Jesus His Son. Now all our dreams can come true: to live forever, to be at peace with God, and to receive God's help here and now.