Eternal Perspectives: The promise of renewal
JESUS’ RESURRECTION AND SPRINGTIME BRING RENEWAL
It’s that time of year when we eagerly await longer days and exploding nature. Better yet, we look forward to celebrating Jesus’ resurrection with joy and promise. Three shouts for the upcoming spring season!
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
The promise of renewal
Daylight savings time is approaching, with its reminder to change our clocks, springing ahead one hour. DST begins the season of renewal for those of us in the north country. Yes, we may have more snowy days, but flowers will soon begin to bloom in fields, woods, and gardens. Seeds and bulbs already wait patiently to sprout and grow.
I’m amazed at the power that can transform a tiny, dormant seed, stuck in darkness and dirt, into a living thing of beauty and use. The word dormant means sleep. When Jesus raised Lazarus from death after four days in a tomb, He said Lazarus was “sleeping.” The grieving family and Jesus’ disciples didn’t realize that Jesus meant Lazarus slept in death. He then gave His disciples a lesson from nature to help them understand His own imminent death.
“Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me.” (John 12:24)
In the physical sense, a seed must die (lie dormant, sleep in the ground) before it can produce fruit. Life comes by death. Jesus spoke metaphorically and spiritually about Himself as being a grain of wheat that would die and, by His resurrection, produce much fruit. After His resurrection, many came to believe in Him. And many more today choose to come to Him in faith, believing in their own life after death to sin.
For us, believing in Christ requires dying to self. It requires that we hate (or “love less”) our life before we can have new life in Christ. It means we must follow Jesus in loving service.
Jesus also taught that when we fully trust in Him, we enter His kingdom, which is not of this world. We have passed from death to life in Christ and though we live in the world, we are not of the world.
Lord, thank You for the promise of eternal life through the resurrection of Your only Son, Jesus. We look forward with joy to the coming Easter celebration that promises us eternal life both here on earth and with You in heaven. While we remain in this world, may we remember to die to our sin daily so we can bring to others beauty and usefulness, like that of a flower, seed,
or bulb. In Jesus’ name, amen.