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.
It was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.
For this reason He is the Mediator of a New Covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first Covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
To grasp all the reasons for the death of Jesus is too much for me. I can't wrap my mind around their wondrous enormity, so I accept them with the awe of an adopted child: a child who grew up in an orphanage of chaos, confusion and death. Moments of light were few. Darkness returned to swallow them.
For inexplicable reasons, a Father, a Savior, picked me up and carried me to a place I'd never known: the Kingdom of God, a home of love, peace and safety. Moments of darkness were few. In an amazing switch called re-birth, they were 'Swallowed up by life' (2 Corinthians 5:4).
As my five-year old grandson says, 'Nanny nanny boo boo...' As the Apostle Paul says, 'O death, where is your sting?' (1 Corinthians 15:55).
Even so, none of this newness would be possible without the human death of Jesus. He met the legal requirement for the writing and receipt of a new Will, a.k.a. The New Testament: God's final Word on salvation, His process of adoption, and the rewarding of our inheritance.
But He mandated an unusual signature. To receive His benefits and blessings, we must sign for them in Blood. The first Blood was His, and It was clearly seen. The second blood is ours, and it must become evident by our actions; we must die to selfishness.*
What a revolutionary concept: the death of selfishness. 'For the message of The Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God' (1 Corinthians 1:18). Paul explains further: 'I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me' (Galatians 2:20).
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider the role God offers you at such a time as this: a time of deep darkness, child-sacrifice, idol worship, and self-service. He asks you to become the light of the world: self-sacrificing, God-worshiping servants to others.
But in the process of accepting His Will for you, He rewards you with the desires of your heart: benefits that are real, here, now and new.
To Be Continued...
* Consider one meaning of Paul's Words: 'I die daily' (1 Corinthians 15:31). Surrendering our lives to Jesus is a jump from the cliff of self-reliance. Our landing place? A plunge in a pool of Living Water. It's called baptism. Therein, God gets our hearts. Even so, surrendering our heads, mouths, stomachs, hands, feet and activities requires dying to selfishness daily... even hourly. I'm not there yet, but I press forward.
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the All Things New series.