Jesus Speaks about His Death
‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—“Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.
Devotion by Anne Mooney
Sometimes God teaches me things in waves. Over the course of a week, I notice repeating messages about the same theme through my daily spiritual routine, Rev. Courtney’s messages, things that happen at work, or even a TV show or passing billboard. This week the message has been about death.
It started out that I had the fun opportunity of meeting with Ms. Janet and the children to prepare a Children’s Time episode for today’s worship. Guess what? It included this same scripture!
Next, I actually had a good friend and former co-worker of mine die from cancer. Her death came rather quickly after her diagnosis. The last time I saw her (in Publix) she had seemed her usual radiant self. Now suddenly she is not here.
Now, once again, I am given this scripture about Jesus’ death. I am asked to justify what this text means to me and to consider what and how to share it with you.
Well, from doing the Children’s Message, I know that prior to these words, Jesus was comparing himself to a wheat seed. Seeds tend to be small and rather inconspicuous, but they are loaded with potential! An acorn grows into a massive oak tree that produces shade for many, more acorns as food for a multitude of squirrels, and eventually perhaps some wood that could be used to build a house or furniture. A wheat seed grows into a plant that also provides food and more seeds to make more food. When you think about the potential of a seed, its possibilities extend into infinity and beyond!
In this scripture, Jesus is gently forewarning his disciples that he actually needs to die for his message to spread. He is inviting them, as well as us today, to be seeds that continue to grow and increase the harvest of his gospel. The death of a seed is not the end of the plant that is hiding inside. The death of Jesus was not the end of his ministry and message.
Dear Creator, Thank you for the gift of Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection. Help us answer his invitation to continue your message of welcome, justice, and comfort for all. Amen