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Jesus explained to His disciples why He must die using the metaphor of a seed being planted in death and springing up into new life.
Christ's teaching must not be thought to apply to the lives of Believers, for none of us can, by our death, bring forth any life at all. Rather, Christ taught that our fruitfulness comes by abiding in Him, like a branch bringing forth fruit because it is a living part of the vine.
Christ's teaching uniquely describes His laying down His life to give abundant life to all who trust in Him!
Farmers plant wheat, which in itself is a useful food. Yet they surrender it into the earth, because they believe it will spring forth and multiply unto a greater harvest of wheat.
So too Christ plainly stated that He must lay down His life in order to bring forth abundant life unto His people. Christ must die in order to bring in His harvest of the Redeemed! Our life springs from the fact that Christ's death redeems sinners from the punishment for their sins before God.
The disciples disagreed with Jesus. Here at the end of His ministry, the crowds were shouting His praises, and the corrupt leaders were throwing up their hands in frustration. Surely now was the time to bring in the kingdom, and set up His throne!
In that context, Christ repudiates all their hopes for the Kingdom now, and declares that He must die if He is to save His people.
Christ warns that, so long as He does not lay down His life, He is, like the unplanted seed, alone.
Our Lord Jesus was the only seed that had life. All the rest of us are dead. If there were to be any life in humanity at all, it would have to come from Christ's life laid down at Calvary for us!
John Pittman Hey was born in 1961 in Jackson, Mississippi, to Godly parents who from the beginning raised him in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. With child-like faith he came to Christ on his fourth birthday at his mother's knee. He received his education at church school,...