THIS WEEK: Lead Me to the Cross…Plant a Seed…Find the Cross!
I am not a biologist or a seed expert (never good to start with a disclaimer!).
But here’s what I’ve discovered.
Seeds are part of a cycle of life that God has programmed into a plant to perpetuate a plant once the lifespan of the original plan is over. However, if you skip part of the process, the final result will be stifled at best, completely fail at worst.
Jesus said, (John 12:24) 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.
Jesus didn’t get into all the specifics of the seed, but he uses the biology of a seed to set up the theology of what he was going to do.
First the biology. A seed has three main components: 1) the outer shell, 2) the endosperm and the 3) embryo. The outer shell hardens as the seed matures on the parent plant and encapsulates all the energy and information the seed needs to later germinate and produce another plant. If the seed doesn’t mature (is a “wet” seed) it won’t germinate. It would be like picking a green bean (while it is still green) and trying to plant the seed. It doesn’t work because the seed isn’t mature until the bean has dried out and the seed’s outer shell hardened.
Inside the seed the endosperm is the portion of the seed that must give up its substance and nutrition to the embryo for the embryo to produce the root and the shoot. If the endosperm does not “die” the seed will not germinate and replicate. But if it dies, it will produce many seeds. (Hmm…sounds familiar, doesn’t it?)
Now the theology: Jesus knew that the seed would not carry out its purpose until it went through its process. Jesus knew that he could not finish his main purpose (see yesterday’s devotion) of saving souls without going through the process his father had given him. He knew the process entailed suffering and dying…i.e. “falling to the ground and dying.”
Luke 24:7 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
Seems odd that Jesus had to die, but he did.
Peter tried to discourage it. Jesus called him an instrument of Satan.
Matthew 16:21 From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Jesus knew that in his death, many “seeds” or followers would be produced.
John 12:32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
Jesus willingly “fell to the ground and died” so that we might live.
It’s just the process the Father had determined.
Apply: It shouldn’t surprise us that the Creator would use an element of his creation to teach a wonderful truth. What other examples of this can you think of? Or next time you take a walk, notice nature around you. What lessons is God teaching you?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being willing to go through the process of living, dying and rising again. Without any one of these we are lost. With them all we are promised life eternal. AMEN.