Read John 12:12-43
Time was ticking.
The earthly ministry of Jesus was drawing to a close. With the Triumphal Entry in the rearview mirror, the reality of the cross was looming larger and larger on the horizon. Soon the Son of Man, the Christ, would be lifted up on that cross. But rather than the end of life, that cross represented the very source of life.
The people were polarizing.
Large crowds lauded His arrival into Jerusalem. Witnesses of the raising of Lazarus were still recounting the story of His miracle. Others came out to see this One who had reportedly performed the miracle. Greeks asked for a meeting with Him. Some of the Jewish authorities believed in Him, but they kept their faith a secret. Pharisees and others grew in their opposition and jealousy. Their plan for execution was about to be implemented.
“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” (v. 24).
While some throughout history may look back on the death of Jesus as a tragic ending to an otherwise good life, Jesus saw it differently. He was the kernel of wheat that had to fall to the ground and die. Had He not done that, his life would have been merely a single “good life” consisting of cool miracles and great teaching. Had He not fallen to the ground and died, the value of His life would be measured only through the example He gave. Thankfully, though, through the death (and resurrection) of the One, we don’t have just an example. We also have a Savior!
But if you read beyond verse 24, into 25 and 26, you will discover that Jesus did not limit His “kernel of wheat parable” as a depiction of Himself. It would be true of His disciples. Historical records indicate that most all of them gave their lives in sharing Christ with others. As a result, the gospel spread to others.
And that same “kernel of wheat parable” applies to you and me. Are we willing to sacrifice for Christ in order that others might follow?