For 3 years, Jesus had ministered to people. He had taught; he had healed. He was sought after for His miracles, and an awesome silence struck crowds when He spoke. His audience was often in the thousands, but occasionally he met privately with people in pursuit of truth.
But now it was the week of His death. A new day had dawned. In this last week, His ministry took a turn. His focus was changed.
John 12:23-24: Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, 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."
Jesus knew the things He had done to this point were good. His miracles were important. He had changed lives. He had abided in the will of the Father and accomplished all He was to do up to this point. Now, the climax, the ultimate purpose of His coming, was at hand. It was time for Jesus to die.
It must be so. His death was the only way to win our salvation. He would fall to the ground, and we would become the fruit of His obedience.
Yesterday, as I heard this story on the radio, I was on day 4 of wrestling with the Lord on a particular issue. My will vs. the will of God. To some of you, a wrestling match with God seems pointless. Why would I stand up to someone who is so strong and so right? Frankly, because I'm stubborn and foolish. Anyway, immediately, I thought to myself, "I also must die for God's full purpose in me to be fulfilled." I even said it outloud to one of my kids. I must completely lie down my own purposes, my own plans, and my own will. Anything "my" must go. And to the extent that I surrender all that is "mine," I will produce fruit.
Therefore, I urge you, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship...