New International Version John 10: 17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Here is what I see in the Greek:
17For this very reason the Father loves me, because I, myself, lay down my life in order that I might take it up anew. 18No one takes it away from me. But I myself, of myself, lay it down. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up anew. This commandment I received from my Father.
Here are some important points to note:
τίθημι ψυχήν μου means "I lay down my life", so the additional pronoun ἐγὼ Jesus uses, makes it more emphatic: "I, myself, lay down my life" -- It's was a deliberate choice.
The NIV has Jesus laying down his life, "only to take it up again", which is a bit of a purposeless expression. However, the Greek word ἵνα (Strong's G2443 - hina) is decided, i.e. that/in order that/so that. The purpose of laying down his life was to demonstrate he had the POWER to take it back again.
Jesus reiterates in verse 18 what he had said in verse 17, but this time it is even more emphatic: "I myself, of myself, lay it down."
The word λάβω given as "received" is from λαμβάνω (Strong's G2983 - lambanō), which is the very same verb that Jesus uses when he says he would "take up" his life again. The Outline of Biblical Usage defines it like this: to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it.
So, the picture that comes to my mind in regard to the commandment is something like that depicted in Revelation in regard to the book in the hand of him that sat on the throne (Revelation 5).
In my mind I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a scroll, and a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and accomplish that which is written therein!" There was silence in heaven. An elder who stood near me said, "Take heart! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, will prevail!" Then Jesus came and took the scroll out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.