Grain, Cross and Glory
Woven into the Apostle John’s narrative are three pieces of a puzzle that show how humanity is brought into right relationship with God.
The three puzzle pieces are comprised of a kernel of wheat, a cross and glory. A kernel of wheat which dies alone in the ground brings multiplication. The cross of intentional sacrifice draws all to Jesus. Finally the glory of Jesus Christ either opens or blinds eyes.
Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground….
There is no multiplication unless something dies. In fact in God’s economy abundance comes from death. It’s a paradox. It doesn’t make sense in our economy but in the spiritual economy it makes absolute sense. Jesus not only confirms that He will be like a seed planted in the ground, His disciples will follow him too. Are you willing to be a grain of wheat planted into the ground? What does that look like in your life?
When I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself…
Jesus knew where He was going. He went with intention and for a purpose. His reason was to draw people to himself. Without His sacrifice and without His shed blood there would be no Peace. Humanity would forever be separated from God without his sacrifice. He knew what was required and Scripture says, “for the JOY set before Him, He endured!” He went to the cross intentionally, having every opportunity to avoid it, but He willingly laid down His life. What was the JOY? You and me in restored relationship and intimate friendship. What a friend we have in Jesus!
Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him….
It’s fascinating that John introduces the concept of glory in a passage marked with suffering and death. The passage from Isaiah which John references is perhaps the most significant encounter an Old Testament prophet has with God Almighty. Isaiah actually mentions that he “sees” the LORD. For a Jew to say this would be outrageous, for even Moses could not look at God! Yet, here in this passage Isaiah SEES God and he immediately recognizes his sin and God’s amazing glory. John clarifies for us that Isaiah actually saw JESUS in his open vision.
John 12:41 “Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory.
Isaiah saw Jesus as the Messiah. But when the Jewish leaders saw Jesus and all of His miraculous signs their eyes were closed. They refused to believe. They didn’t see their sins and His glory they saw their own righteousness.
John’s point is clear. When you look at Jesus and all that He has done, are you convicted of your sin and recognize your need for a savior or are you blinded and convinced of your own ‘goodness’?
As we read through the last week in the life of Jesus, prayerfully reflect, worship and praise Him for His goodness toward us as he intentionally moves toward the cross for you and for me!