It was Monday in Jerusalem, the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. Hundreds of thousands gathered in preparation for the annual Passover observance.
At Bethany the day before, Jesus had resurrected his friend Lazarus, already dead four days. A Bethany crowd followed him into Jerusalem; and a different crowd met Him entering the city. All wanted to see the man who displayed such power. Jesus rode in on a white donkey and multitudes hailed him as King.
Come Friday, Jesus the Son of God, would die on a cross as the true Passover Lamb. He would be crucified at the same time the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple. His sacrifice would pay for the sins of the world and provide eternal life.
In Jesus’ final offer, he called for repentance of sin and obedience to God’s commands. The people refused to turn from their apostasy. Instead, an angry mob demanded, “Crucify him!” And they did.
Since before creation, the Godhead knew how this would end. The plan had always been in place. The Son of God would now lay down his life to save all who would receive his full payment for their sins.
Jesus knew exactly what time it was. He said:
“…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.” (Jn. 12:24b-25).
His death planted the seed that would spring up again and flourish, producing even more seed over and over again across the centuries. A continuous and miraculous harvest of souls produced by one seed dying.
In our own lives as believers, are we willing to “die” to ourselves to allow God to use us in greater ways during this end times harvest? To surrender our “rights” to live according to our own notions; or to follow the Lord’s path for the sake of his glory and other’s eternal good. Dying to truly live.