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Daily Reading: 2 Samuel 1:1-2:11 ESV, John 12:20-50 ESV, Psalm 118:19-29 ESV, Proverbs 15:27-28 ESV

Daily Verse: “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.” (John 12:24 ESV)

APOTHNESKO (599): “As a verb, means lit., “to die off or out” and is used of the separation of the soul from the body, i.e., the natural “death” of human beings; of violent “death” whether or men or animals; with regard to the latter it is once translated “perished,” Mt. 8:32; of vegetation, Jude 12; of seeds, Jn 12:24.”[i]

Natural death.

Only with death can new life begin.  When a grain of wheat dies, it produces more in death than in life.  One grain of wheat makes over 320 seeds, but it must die first.  Jesus, speaking to the Greeks, uses the farming metaphor to explain what’s coming.  Jesus knew He had to die on the cross, His death multiplying the harvest of believers.

Tensions ran high as the day of crucifixion approached.  People became angrier and angrier the more Jesus did His own thing, which caused His popularity to decline.  People doubted Christ’s teaching; the religious leaders failed at trapping Jesus in any way.  Jesus knew the time had come for the final act, but the people still didn’t understand.

Death and resurrection.

When Jesus committed His soul into God’s hand moments before He died, people lost all hope.  Their Savior no longer lived, His ministry over.  The incubation period of the dead seed would soon multiply. Jesus, now dead, emerges three days later in His glorified body, an invitation to eternal life for all.

Those whose faith wavered before Jesus’ death no longer doubted.  With over 500 witnesses to His resurrected body, Jesus’ followers still multiply to this day, His seed-bearing much fruit.  Without death, we cannot have life.

One day, we will join Jesus in eternity, our address moving to a heavenly zip code.  We can pursue Christ vigorously, experiencing Godly adventures we can’t imagine.  Dying to self leads to full life in Christ.

[i] Strong, J., & Strong, J. (2010). The New Strong’s expanded exhaustive concordance of the Bible. Greek Dictionary of the New Testament (p. 35) Thomas Nelson

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