From death to Life
The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. (John 12:23-24)
Jesus spoke these words concerning His imminent death on the cross. He knew that He would suffer and die, and He was troubled at that thought (v. 27). He knew that He would have to go through the false accusations, the total rejection, the excruciating pain and, ultimately, death on the cross. It was for this purpose He had come into the world. Yet Jesus could see beyond the here and now to the glory prepared for Him with the Father.
Unlike His disciples, Jesus understood that His death would lead to their life; and not theirs alone, but new life for all those who would put their trust in Him. As a farmer sacrifices a portion of his grain by sowing it into the ground, Jesus sacrificed His life. And as the farmer expects those grains to germinate and bring forth a multiple harvest of grain, so Jesus knew that His death would bring a multiple harvest of souls, people whose lives would be restored to fellowship with God. With this hope in view, He was able to endure the cross, despising its shame (Heb. 12:2). And He did not remain in the grave, but rose the third day and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. From there, He has sent us the Holy Spirit to live in us, the Spirit who raised Him from the dead and will give life to our mortal bodies.
God lives in us by His Spirit, keeping us by His mighty power, which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. (Eph. 2:19-20) We have been raised from spiritual death to new life in Christ, and one day we will be raised in body – a new, spiritual body that God will give us (1 Cor. 15:42-44) so we can see Him face to face and be with Him eternally. Yet we can only experience that new life in Christ if we are willing to let go of the old. Jesus says, He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25) Have you laid down the old life? Have you fully surrendered to Jesus and His purpose? What is the Holy Spirit bringing to your attention that needs to be laid down at the foot of the cross and left there?
Whatever we may go through in this life, let us fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2) and follow Him. Let us allow our trials to mould us into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29) as we depend on Him. Let us grow in grace through the life-giving power that only the Creator God can give (Mark 4:26-28), for without remaining in Jesus, we can bear no fruit (John 15:4) of eternal value. Let us allow our lives be a witness to others, so they too may come to Jesus and follow Him. Pastor Konrad