Written by Samantha Decker for QSBC Women
After what felt like endless weeks of cold weather, the sun emerged, the temperature rose, and I excitedly loaded the family in the car to drive to the park. As we walked the trails everything looked brown and dead, but as we looked closer, we began to see tiny daffodil shoots peeking up from the dirt. The more we looked, the more growths we saw, and my mind began to envision beautiful, endless colored blooms filling the park in just a few weeks. The seemingly dead ground was the conduit for multitudes of life.
I’ve always thought it fitting that the Easter season occurs during this transition from winter to spring. Even the Earth displays pictures of resurrection life.
Jesus used this same agricultural imagery in His final days with the disciples.
After His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we read a brief conversation Jesus had with Andrew and Phillip. He told them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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 12:23-24)
Scripture doesn’t record the disciples’ reactions or responses, but this example painted a clear picture they would’ve understood. It wouldn’t make sense for a farmer to simply keep a grain of wheat in storage or put it on his shelf to admire. The grain is completely worthless and ineffective unless planted. However, once planted, that grain of wheat dies and then becomes so much more: a field ripe for harvest.
In the same way, Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection continually generates a harvest of souls. Like the single grain of wheat, His death was the path to multiplication.
Jesus then took it a step further. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25
“Hating your life” doesn’t mean walking around grumpy and angry at the world. “Hating your life” involves focusing so intently on the eternal things of God that the pleasures, wants, successes, and even hardships of the world pale in comparison.
In Christ, we are called to do as He did: lay down our own selfish wants and desires to live a life focused on God and others.
I’m reminded of the old hymn by H. Lemmel which sings:
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace”
Practically, “hating your life” and turning your eyes upon Jesus could look like:
- Foregoing the job promotion when you know God has opened doors for you to share the Gospel with a coworker right where you are.
- Finding joy amidst the cancer diagnosis; knowing it’s an opportunity to live out your faith in front of family, friends, and the medical staff.
- Thanking God for the dirty laundry that gives you a chance to pray over family members as you fold their clothes.
- Skipping the party to spend time with the friend who wasn’t invited.
Even the smallest of seeds can produce an abundance of fruit.
This Easter season, as you see the seeds blooming and new life beginning, let it serve as a reminder of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Ask God for the courage and willingness to “lose your life” for His sake. Ask that He would use your life as a seed fallen to the ground so it will bear eternal fruit. And, look for the daily, practical opportunities around you to set aside your plans and desires for His.