“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
Death scares most of us. We spend the majority of our lives trying to avoid it. And no wonder. Death represents an end, ceasing to exist in the way we’ve known. What follows is unfamiliar territory. And most of us prefer the comfort of familiarity, even when what’s familiar to us isn’t all that great.
Like the way we feel about our sinful nature.
We don’t want to let go of it; it’s what we know.
It deceives us. It hurts us. It even harms the people we love. But we can’t fathom life without it. We fear the death of it more than we fear the pain it causes. So we rebel against Jesus’ command to crucify it.
Yet Jesus forever changed what death means for us as believers. He came to the earth and shared in our humanity,
. . . so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Hebrews 2:14-15
In Christ, we should no longer fear death. Jesus has conquered its power! Instead, He asks us to embrace it. Even seek it.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25
Jesus challenges us to lose our lives for Him.
We read those words and our flesh kicks up. We don’t want to lose our lives. That’s death, and we’ve always been afraid of death.
But Jesus has freed us from that fear. In Christ, death isn’t an end, dear one. It offers a new beginning.
And Matthew 16:25 extends a clear promise: When you lose your life for Him, you will find it.
You will find your true life, beloved, when you’re willing to lose the one you have.
It doesn’t make sense to us. Logic wars against it. Everything in us screams to hold onto who we’ve always been. After all, it’s what we know.
But when you and I fear the death of our old nature and try to protect and preserve it, we settle for a less than life.
How can I say that? Jesus said it first.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Jesus wants you to experience life to its fullest extent. That happens when you stop living from your old nature and allow Christ to live through you.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
When you and I cease to live—when we put to death our sinful nature—Christ lives in its place. And that scares the enemy of our souls, because he knows he can walk all over us as long as we still live through our old nature. He governs that nature and can easily manipulate us.
But the enemy can’t do anything against the power of the living Christ. Jesus need only utter a word, and he’s undone. He’s powerless… feeble… nothing. And so he does all he can to convince you to remain in your own weakness. He whispers that you should fear death.
Beloved, Jesus has released you from that fear. It’s time to walk in the fullness of life Christ offers. Death has become your catalyst to abundant life!
Imagine it for a moment. What if you crucified your insecurity and let Christ’s assurance of who He Is reign in its place? What if you let go of bitterness and experienced the flooding of His love equipping your heart to feel joy again? What if you buried your self-centeredness so Jesus could replace your impatience and agitation with His perfect peace?
Abundant life awaits, dear one. You need only trust His Word.
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4
Will you walk through that door and trust Jesus for your new life?