About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Saint To Seed
been recently reminded of something Jesus brought to my attention back
in 1971. Since then, it's
never been all that far from the forefront of my thoughts. Jesus
said. "The hour has
come for me to be glorified. …
Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a
single seed. But if it dies,
it produces many seeds". (John 12:23-24)
may sound strange to the modern mind, but Jesus considered His death to
be a glorious and productive event.
Isaiah predicted His glorious and productive death.
"… He was cut off from the land of the living … He was
assigned a grave with the wicked … After the suffering of His soul, He
will see the light of life and be satisfied ... and will justify
many". (Isaiah 53:7-10) Jesus'
death was glorious and productive because he saw the light of life at
the end of the tunnel, which was, the justification of many.
Another way to put it is that He "endured the cross for the
joy that was set before Him". (Hebrews 12:3) Jesus'
joy is our salvation. That's
why His death was both glorious and productive.
I've thought much about Jesus' death since 1971, it's not his death that
I've been recently reminded of.
Speaking of the last days, Jesus said, "you will be
handed over to be persecuted and put to death …" (Matthew 24:9) In
a vision, the apostle John saw "the souls of those who had been
slain because of the word of God". (Revelation 6:9)
It's the death of the saints that was impressed on me in the
early 1970's, and again has been brought to my attention in recent days.
said that "if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and
take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whosoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whosoever
loses his life for me will save it". (Luke 9:23) The
"cross" for Jesus meant His earthly death.
we are indeed approaching the end of this age, the persecution and death
of the saints Jesus predicted in Matthew 24 may be just around the
corner. I don't know how
close we are to this corner. I
don't even know if I'll be alive when we come to the corner.
I'd prefer to be raptured away before we round the bend.
Nevertheless, as this world progressively becomes more
anti-Christ, we must seriously consider what the cross of Christ means.
The saints under the altar in Revelation 6 understood their cross
to mean physical death. For
you and I, at least at this exact moment, it means the denial of self to
John 12:24 Jesus said that if a kernel of wheat falls into the ground
and dies, it will produce many more seeds.
Jesus' death was productive.
The seeds that sprouted from His grave were the first century
saints. Like Jesus, many of
them fell into the ground and died,
In turn more seeds sprouted from their graves.
Throughout the centuries, saints have fallen into the ground as
seeds. It's an historical
fact. When saints become
seeds; when Christians are martyred for Jesus, revival sprouts forth
from their graves. Right
now, as Islam spreads throughout the world, saints are being sown into
the ground as seeds in many Islamic nations, producing a crop of
Christians in the midst of Muslims.
personal cross may or may not lead us to a martyr's grave.
Whatever the case, the Biblical mandate remains. To
follow Jesus means to deny self, take up our own personal cross, and
serve Jesus and those to whom He places before us at any given time.