Death, life and bearing fruit

I’m going to write a book and title it, “Jesus ate bread.” The sequel will be titled, “Jesus drank wine.” Spoiler alert: it turns out moderation is important in both instances.

In the Bible, bread is a metaphor for life, for sustenance. And you can’t make bread without graingreen-wheat-field-in-the-sunset-23530-1920x1080

I have grain on the brain for two reasons right now. One, I grew up a “farm kid,” and last Saturday on the drive out to Wind Wolves Preserve for a family hike, we got to drive past some beautiful, thick, tall, green fields of wheat. When we first moved to this valley, I was surprised to see wheat fields, but that was before I realized what an important role livestock plays here.

Two, spring means Easter. Just like those green fields of wheat will soon turn a shade of brown before they are ready for harvest, you also can’t have Easter without a death.

Just ask Jesus. The week Jesus was crucified, He referenced wheat. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” Jesus said. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:23-26).

Jesus used the image of a seed, which must die in order to truly multiply and bear fruit.

That’s a pretty great illustration for Easter. For Jesus to accomplish His heaven-sent purpose, He needed to die. More specifically, as He detailed over and over again for His disciples, He must be betrayed, crucified, and die, and on the third day rise.

Talk about “bearing much fruit”!

From one source – Jesus – life is available for all! It started with dozens, spread to more than five hundred to whom Jesus appeared (1 Corinthians 15:6), ignited the lives of thousands when the Holy Spirit went to work on Pentecost (Acts 2:41), and has since spread to millions and now billions. That’s a great yield!

So, what does that mean for us? In a word: everything! It means we live and bear fruit through the one who died and rose for us.

And now we become sowers. We don’t make a seed grow; that’s already part of the design. We just make sure the seeds get to the earth.

What a great truth: Because Jesus died, we live and bear fruit.

(Lent 29/40)




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