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Expressions of faith

I’m worth a fruitful death

Elder Lady Brandy J. Lee

“Truly I say to you, if a seed of grain does not go into the earth and come to an end, it is still a seed and no more; but through its death it gives much fruit. He who is in love with life will have it taken from him; and he who has no care for his life in this world will keep it for ever and ever. If any man is my servant, let him come after me; and where I am, there will my servant be. If any man becomes my servant, my Father will give him honor. Now is my soul troubled; and what am I to say? Father, keep me from this hour. No: for this purpose have I come to this hour,” John 12:24-27 (BBE).

Our key verse comes after the event of Jesus’ greeting in Jerusalem, which is what we just celebrated: Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the remembrance of the event in John 12:12-13 where the people gathered to see Jesus and greeted him with palm tree branches to bless Him as He arrived in Jerusalem.

“The day after, a great number of people who were there for the feast, when they had the news that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to him, crying, ‘A blessing on him who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!’” John 12:12-13 (BBE).

In verses 24-27, Jesus is speaking to the disciples imparting wisdom that is relevant to us today. Jesus is using the metaphor of a grain or seed to explain the importance of obedience, servant leadership, and the gift of eternal life with Christ.

Let’s learn about the science behind the grain seed. Based upon the depth of which the seed is planted within the soil determines the GDD (growing degree days). Half an inch could yield 105 GDD, and two inches could yield 175 GDD. Temperatures also affect the growth rate of which it produces its fruit.

We fuss at God when we get buried deep into soil of situations and problems, but God does not merely see a vision of your current situation. He has a holistic approach. God sees your eventual fruit! God allows the deepening, hot and cold temperatures, and flooding of your situations and life in order to produce a great harvest from you. You have to die to yourself daily in these GDD days of high and sometimes low temperatures in order to branch out with great fruit!

We see examples of such processes within the preceding verses of John 12. First, we see Lazarus was pronounced dead; however, Jesus raised him up from death.

They wanted to feed Jesus there when he raised Lazarus from his entombment after four days. Lazarus was invited to eat with Jesus at the King’s table. Martha, a friend of Jesus, served him.

“So they made him a meal there, and he was waited on by Martha, and Lazarus was among those who were seated with him at table,” John 12:2-2 (BBE).

Even after death, God blesses us with bounty beyond what we could imagine. We have been given the gift of eternal life through the life of Jesus Christ. Lazarus was dead physically, but Jesus resurrected him both naturally and spiritually. His degree of growing was four days. This also brought unbelievers into the Kingdom. Jesus is instilling into the people the wisdom and evidence that He is the Son of God sent to redeem them back unto the Father.

Through the resurrection of Lazarus, people believed in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. His miracle is the reason why they gathered to meet Jesus in Jerusalem—though they still received more that what they came for, eternal life.

The question remains with us today: Are we willing to die in order for God to get the glory and have our lives be restored into bountiful blessings?

Envision your life worthy of a fruitful death.

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