THIS WEEK: Lead Me to the Cross…Plant a Seed…Find the Cross!
Seeds and spring…they go together.
Since the “deep freeze” in mid-February, it’s been time to plant gardens here in Central Texas. It’s a fun time of the year, to plan what you want to plant in your garden box and then put the seeds in the ground…checking daily to see if they sprouted.
God designed the seed to be an amazing thing…to contain the information and energy to produce another plant with many more seeds.
But when you’ve planted your seeds in your garden, have you ever thought of the cross of Jesus?
I hadn’t. But now I will. Why?
A group of God-fearing Greeks were in Jerusalem to observe the Passover. Jesus had just ridden into Jerusalem on the donkey on what we know as Palm Sunday. A short time before that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. Jerusalem was abuzz with rumors of the Messianic kingdom coming close with Jesus as the next king. So, I probably would have wanted to do the same as this group…see Jesus. But as Jesus often does, he takes a simple question and teaches and important spiritual truth…this time, using a seed.
John 12: 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, 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.
The Greeks would see Jesus and his glory…perhaps not in the way they expected.
I’d be looking for the glory of Jesus in a great miracle, a great coronation event, or a masterful piece of teaching. The cross would not be the first place I would look. But that’s the point of the seed.
The kernel of wheat must fall to the ground and die. If it dies, it produces many seeds.
First a bit of biology. There is part of a seed known as the endosperm. This is the part that must give energy and life to the embryo. If the endosperm refuses to give up its energy and life, the seed will not produce additional seed. However, when it “dies” the embryo lives sending the root downward and the shoot upward.
Jesus was describing the fact that he had to die in order to produce life. This isn’t the normal way we would expect to see Jesus but yet his death on the cross would provide life for many. We’ll unpack this picture more this week.
For today, if you are able, go outside and plant your seeds. As you put them in the ground, remember the death of your Savior Jesus. As new life comes from that seed, recall the new life and eternal life Jesus gives to you and many more because he was willing to “fall to the ground and die”.
Apply: Plant a seed today. Ask God to in the growth of that plant to use it to remind you of the death Jesus suffered to give you life and make you full of good fruit.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for finding your glory in carrying our sins to the cross. Thank you that by your death, we might live. AMEN.