Christ Died on the Cross to Save Us (2)
Through His death and resurrection His divine life
became available to us
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
One day when Jesus was in Jerusalem, only a few days before He was to be crucified, his disciples Andrew and Peter came to him, telling Him that there were some Greeks there who wished to see Him. However, instead of giving a direct answer, Jesus spoke the words above, comparing Himself to a seed that must fall into the earth and die so that it may bear much fruit. What did He mean by this?
Do you remember that when we considered the Triune God in these Steps, we pointed out John 1:4:
In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
As we mentioned then, that verse indicates that there was something within God which, even in eternity past, He longed to impart to us, and what He desired to impart was His eternal, divine, uncreated life, so that we could become the many sons of God.
But, even after He became a man, the life was still not available to us. Instead, it was locked within the shell of His humanity, just like the life within a seed is locked within its outer shell.
So, what the Lord was saying here, in John 12:24, was that for these Gentiles, or for anyone else, to really know Him, He had to pass through the process of death and resurrection, for it was through this process that the life within Him would become available to all who would believe in Him so that they could become the many sons of God. Again, this is just like a seed which produces many grains by giving up itself to die. That is why the Lord used this illustration.
And this is why, when we believe in the Lord Jesus today, we can receive His life and begin to know Him. Prior to His death and resurrection, if you wanted to contact Him you had to go to Israel, just like the Greeks did. But today, because His life has been released, it is available to all who will call upon Him (Acts 2:21,33, Rom. 10:12), wherever we are. Praise the Lord for this!
We can see the two aspects of the Lord’s death in what happened just after He expired. While He was still on the cross a soldier pierced His side with a spear and “immediately blood and water came out” (John 19:34). It was not the blood only, signifying the redemptive aspect of the Lord’s death, but also the water, signifying the Spirit (cf. John 7:38-39) and the life-releasing aspect of His death.
All Christians are aware that Christ died on the cross for our sins, and we praise the Lord that we can receive forgiveness based on His death for us. But, many Christians do not realize that there is a very positive aspect to His death, i.e., that through His death His life was released for us to receive and enjoy. However, it is crucial for us to know about this aspect of His death as well.