As we walk away from Jerusalem with the Disciples back to Galilee (where it all began and must begin again) I'm posting my Lenten devotionals in reverse. Most of them.
This or That
Death is tough. There are some philosophers that say that everything humans do tries to combat death. We (some philosophers will say) are afraid of death and in recognizing our own mortality, strive for self preservation. We feel that life is divided into being alive or being dead. To many, it is simply a matter of this (the world we know, alive) or that (the world we don't know, death).
This passage in John 12 speaks of Jesus' death. We are so close to Holy Week. A chain of events has been started that will result in a confrontation between Jesus and all the forces in this world who fight death so strongly.
Wait, isn't that Jesus' whole point? That death should be defeated? Well, yes! But there are those who would preserve life to the point that they actually miss out on something better.
We discover that "this" life has problems. We aren't perfect. The world certainly isn't. But some would rather save it than accept something greater. "That" death we are all afraid of, doesn't seem to scare Jesus in the same way.
To use Jesus' analogy in the passage, a grain of wheat must cease being a grain of wheat if it is ever going to produce more. So it is with Christ. The full devotion to God must give way to something new. It isn't that Jesus stops being himself in death. He comes out on the other side victorious over death and more alive than he was before.
Amazingly, you and I get to choose this kind of transformation. We can choose to be this, or that. But let's not jump too quickly to Easter. We still have some time to struggle with this or that.
O God, if I am honest with myself and you, death scares me.
Whether living or dying, may my life be in you
so that in dying to self I can be raised with Christ.