Dying the Only Way to Live
Pastor Donald sets the context for John 12 for this Palm Sunday service and explains why Jesus has to die..
Jesus has just walked back to Jerusalem. The crowds great him with palm fronds as they are expecting a king. People have gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The Passover is a celebration because the Israelites had put blood of a sacraficed lamb over the door posts, the angel of death had spared them.
In John 12:20-26, we read that there were some Greeks who came to eat during festival. Some Greeks wanted to see Jesus. It should be noted that the Greeks are not necessarily from Greece. Non-Jews were called Greeks sometimes, and we know that some Gentiles helped the Jews and were friends of the Jews as found in Luke chapter 7.
And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue."
Luke 7:4-5 ESV
The scriptures does not indicate if the Greeks actually see Jesus. We do read that Jesus brings up the death he must face. His death will be like a seed that must die so it will grow and produce more. Jesus was meant to be a sacrifice. But Jesus also had to suffer and die to bring salvation.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6 ESV
Jesus gave it all that we can be imputed His righteousness.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
The growing of the seed can show us how we gain:
By willingly yielding to die we can become righteous, but we must be willing to die everyday. As we sin, we feel guilty. This guilt reminds us not to sin. As the righteousness grows in you, the old self dies.
We also gain by serving Jesus. Serving the Lord is the only way we can glorify the Lord. The reason God allows us to stay on Earth is to bring glory to God. We have the purpose to bring glory to God. By serving intentionally, we glorify God. Yet, we need to be careful. Often we serve God and hope that people will show us appreciation. This is not the true goal.
If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
John 12:26 ESV
We have to die daily. It does not come naturally. It is done actively.