Dying to Live – John 12:24-25
Spring has sprung! Or so we all hope! It is April, and temperatures are warming up. The snow is gone (hopefully for good). Robins are back; trees are actually starting to bud out, and flowers are beginning to pop up! Looking around our rural community, farmers are beginning to do a little field fitting (i.e. getting the fields ready for planting). It won’t be long till spring planting will be under way; home gardening too!
I enjoy gardening. I like to work the dirt and plan for the vegetables I’d like to plant. But then I really enjoy watching as the plants sprout and poke their heads up through the soil, and as the summer progresses, watching them progress into maturity, and then seeing the fruit form on their vines or stalks. When my kids were little it was fun for them, and me, to go out and work in the garden. Explaining to them how the process of planting, and growing and harvesting works would really, and still does, spark amazement to think that each one of those seeds, planted in the ground, if properly watered and weeded and cared for, would grow up to be a mature plant yielding produce many times the amount of what was first planted.
There would be plenty to harvest for us to eat or to use for seed to plant next year’s garden. Think about it: just one ear of corn provides enough kernels of corn to plant several rows of sweet corn plants, yielding several bushels of (ears) of fresh sweet corn. Potatoes are another fascinating garden plant. You dig a hole and drop in a couple old potatoes from last year and by fall the kids and I would go out and dig up the roots of that plant and find dozens of fresh, new potatoes! It’s a demonstration of sacrifice. Out of the one seed comes forth life! But it’s not until the old seed, or kernel, or potato, dies and decays, giving food and nutrients for the new plant, that new life emerges.
We see the same thing in nature with certain species of fish. Their life cycle culminates by returning to the streams and rivers of their birth where they lay their eggs and then they die. It’s like they have just one purpose; to give of themselves in order for new life to carry on. It’s like they’re “dying to live”. Without such a sacrifice, there would be no continuance of life. The one life given, makes way for the lives of those to come.
In an effort to explain His own forthcoming sacrifice, and the necessity of the death of one to provide life eternal for many, Jesus told His disciples in John 12:24-25, “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. 25The man who loves his life well lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
How do we choose to invest the physical life that we’ve been given? If we hold on to it, as if it something of eternal worth, as if this life is all there is, then that will be truly all there is for us. But if we invest the life that we’re given here on earth in serving Jesus Christ and living for Him, the reward will be a new life, an eternal life. Do we choose to hold on tightly to the temporary life we live here and now, or do offer all that we have, surrendered to Jesus so that He will give to us an eternal life that does not end? Jesus chose to give of His life for all of us, to make that promise of eternal life possible.
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” C.T. Studd