Monday, April 2, 2012

The Grain of Wheat . . . Wow!

In John's Palm Sunday account Jesus talks about what is ahead for Him. One of the telling verses is John 12:24 in which He says, "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."

Prior to the cross God and man were separated. They could not fellowship, they could not be in relationship. Jesus was alive, but cut off from man, and man from God. But when Jesus died He paid our price for sin and it was established that He could come to dwell in everyone who, by faith, accepted His death in their place as the redemption, or payment, for their sin. After the cross every person who put their faith in Christ's work for them would be born again, a new creation, with God Himself living in them. The church, the body of Christ, was born and each new believer became an extension of the body and a dwelling place of God! The grain of wheat died, but then He rose again, and when He did He brought in a New Covenant in which He and man could dwell, us in Christ and Christ in us. It is a stunning truth!

Prior to the cross and resurrection man operated on self effort. Take Peter, "I will not deny You," who then failed miserably. Take all of man's attempts at righteousness that fail miserably. But after the cross it becomes:

Phil 2:13   for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure

Gal 2:20   I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Before the cross and resurrection and Pentecost—I, me, my effort, my miserable failures.After the cross and resurrection and Pentecost—God in me, living through me, putting His desires in me and working them out through me.

These days ahead celebrate the most magnificent moments in all of history—the fullness of time in which the mystery and secret of the ages was revealed. It was foreshadowed through all the Old Testament, and ordained before the foundation of the earth, but not revealed until after the cross—To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).

Christ in you . . . the grain of wheat died that it did not remain alone. And by dying He removed the separation between Him and us, and was freed to come to dwell in and with each who chose, by faith, to trust in Him. And because of He who willingly laid down His life and said to the Father, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done" (Luke 22:42), you and I can live our life, filled by the indwelling of the Creator of the universe, with Him living through us, bringing His will to pass for His good pleasure. Has there ever been an offer made like that? Has there ever been a truth so astounding? You. You who have placed your faith in Christ's death on your behalf. You are the temple and dwelling place of the God of Moses and Abraham and Elijah. He lives in you. He lives through you. You are His child, and no created thing can separate you from His love. You will never be alone again. You will never need to operate in futile self effort again. Greater is He in you than the enemy who paces the earth seeking to steal, kill, and destroy.

God bless you this Easter as you reflect that God is not dead, but He is alive, and He's living inside of you, and you are completely in Him, and you are eternally alive because He died. Because the grain of wheat fell to the ground and died . . . Thank You, Jesus. You are amazing!

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