Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 6, 2015

“Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24)

Shakespeare said, "Brevity is the soul of wit."

A characteristic of really wise people is their ability to say a whole lot with an economy of words. You would certainly expect that to apply to the Son of God. It does!

In this 25 word sentence Jesus profoundly predicts His death and His resurrection and reveals a principle His Father built into nature. God is life. Since God is life, life is stronger that death!

Take a moment and think with me on this Good Friday when we commemorate the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ our Savior. Consider the significant implications of this 25 word sermon from the Master. I see three challenging and yet comforting life applications from His statement.

Dying is painful!

That is not a news flash to anyone who has watched a friend or loved one die. I have seen quite a few and none of them died painlessly or easily. God wired you to live. It is in your DNA. But because of the impact of sin, death became your master and the fear of death a tool of the Evil One.

As you contemplate the death of Christ on this Good Friday you will be reminded that His death was excruciatingly painful. There was nothing easy about the crucifixion of Christ and there is nothing easy about your death either. Of course, I am referring to your spiritual death - dying to self and sin. There is no way to know for sure but it could be that your spiritual death could be more painful than when you die physically.

Dying is powerful!

If you will choose the pain of dying you will find great power in being dead! As powerful as Jesus was during His life on earth, His death was even more powerful because by His death He defeated the power of sin!

In a very weird sort of way, modern culture recognizes this truth. Think about how many books and movies and television shows nowadays feature vampires or zombies. Vampires and zombies are powerful evil monsters who terrorize the living for a whole host of malevolent reasons. Why are these fiends so powerful? Simple, how do you kill something that is dead?

Every vampire or zombie movie centers around the subplot of how to stop these monsters. Potential victims pump pounds of hot lead into these menacing creatures to no avail! It is tough to kill a dead person! That is power!

Hey, Christian! Want to be powerful? Die! Declare yourself dead to sin and selfishness.

Dying is productive!

When Jesus was crucified He had roughly one hundred followers. I base that one the fact that there were 120 in the Upper Room according to Luke's record in Acts 1 and 2. Before that day of Pentecost ended there were 3,120 believers! Historians estimate that number may have reached into the hundreds of thousands in the early days of the Church.

Today there are several billions of professed Christians!

Just as Jesus declared, His death brought forth much fruit! His death WAS productive and becoming more so by the moment!

How can that be? How can dying make you more productive?

Because dying produces new life! In God's kingdom every death brings a resurrection!

As you solemnly commemorate the death of the Savior, remember the important truth He teaches in this one verse. Death is painful, but it is also powerful and productive!

Also, ask yourself, "Am I dying to live?"