by Pastor Pete Vander Beek:
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. It’s as if the people asking to see Jesus just before this are proof of something — make something clear to him, and so, where previously he had firmly said “it is not time yet” he now seems to ignore their request and suddenly says the time has come. It is to be a time of glorification, he says.
And we think “what a gruesome glory.” Because we know the story, we know what is coming brutal, not glorious at all.
Jesus, in making the announcement and the verses to come, is predicting. Predicting his own death, but then at the same time giving his followers and seekers something to think about once he is dead.
And he uses farming, biology, to demonstrate. In farming, a seed gets put in the ground and only sprouts if it dies, and has the best chance of producing more seed if it dies.
Try imagine knowing this for yourself. You know you are called to enter into brutal treatment and then death, trusting you will germinate… This is what he is talking about.
It is a rule of nature. For seeds. But in his case this rule will be applied in a unique way to a human being for the first time ever.
Not only that, says Jesus, but because of what he is about to suffer, many will learn the value of becoming similar human seeds. And do it while still living!
He says that if you go into life and death focused on keeping “you” your life will not last. It will be lost.
But if you can learn, in life already, to let go of this life, this way of the world life, and learn to live another kind of life, a Jesus Life, a way of the Kingdom of God Life, you can become a seed that snuggles into the ground, the grave, when the time comes, but one that lives beyond that moment. When we develop deep rooted fellowship with Jesus, the day we are “planted” like he was, our relationship with him becomes vastly more glorious as we live in the glory of the Kingdom as it exists beyond this present world.
We enter an existence that is hard to imagine for us now, but it shown us as an existence where our greatest moment of feeling close to God and God close to us, our greatest moment of worship, well, it will be perpetual! Eternal!
He suffered hugely, stuff we could not endure, in order to die to release us to rise with him. Remember that this weekend. And, on Sunday, say and sing: “He is risen indeed, Hallelujah, what a saviour!”