Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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.
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man
who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
As the Christian Church celebrates Easter in the year 2015, it is appropriate to contemplate this verse today. It is important that we recognize what Jesus meant when He said "the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified." He knew, without a doubt, that His Father's plan was being put into motion. He knew that the Jews were about to reject Him, which would open the door for the Gentile nations to know Him. And it would be by the eventual Gentile Church that He would be magnified, and His glory would abound.
God knew the exact day and the exact hour that He would accomplish the redemption of man through the death of His Son. And Jesus is accepting of His mission and speaks of its approach with honor and a sense of triumph.
His analogy of the kernel of wheat is an obvious picture of His redeeming grace. God, the Father, has made Him the seed and the root of His people. But for that seed to multiply, He must die. The seed must be buried in the ground before it can sprout and produce fruit. And so it was with our Savior.
The multitude of saved souls that have sprung from that one seed speaks of His glory and power. For a couple thousand years the Church has grown and replenished itself with faithful saints who have clung to the root of the faith, Jesus Christ, Himself. His legacy is one of Glory and Praise.
But the last sentence of these verses drives us toward a sober thought; especially in these days in which we are living. We can see that this world is getting more difficult for Christ's followers. To remain faithful to our King and Savior is not popular, nor is it aligned with our changing societal laws and regulations. At this moment, Christians are having to make choices between following Christ or their livelihoods. Right now, we are only looking at fines and public ridicule. Are we prepared to face the life-threatening situations that our fellow Christians are experiencing in the Middle East and Africa?
In this telling Scripture, just prior to His own death, Christ is telling us that this life -- in this world -- is not worth preserving. In fact, I can't tell you how many of my fellow Christians, who have been "on the wall" the last few years, have told me that they despise this world and are ready to go Home. It sickens our hearts and spirits to see that the world values its idols, and its money, and its selfish desires more than it esteems the Savior of mankind. We, his faithful followers, long for eternal life with Him, and hate that we are bound by our flesh in this world.
As the Church celebrates our Lord's resurrection today, let us keep in mind that we should not only focus on glorifying Him and the Father for their gift of salvation, but that we should ready ourselves to follow in His steps in every way -- even unto death. We may be vilified in this world, but we will be raised to a glorious eternal life that overshadows anything we coveted in this shallow life.
Just as each kernel of wheat is singularly sown to yield a bountiful harvest, I give thanks for what was sown in my heart, and look forward to being part of the Heavenly Harvest!