Scripture Reading for Monday, March 24
Reading: John 12:23-32
But if you die
To be a servant of Jesus Christ is to follow him not just all of the way to his cross but through the cross and death and to the other side.
One of my favorite authors and theologians was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. While certainly he was just a man, he lived out his theology in a way few other academics are a a chance to. He is, in many ways, a modern day martyr, an image of what following Christ into death means. Central to Bonhoeffer's theology was this axiom, that to become a disciple is a call to death.
For some this death is a metaphorical one, it is the death of selfishness, pride, and those things which keep us from experiencing God's healing and restoration. For others this death implies not just a metaphorical release from the powers of human sin, but a literal death due to persecution at the hands of our enemy and those under his sway.
By following Jesus even into his death he transforms us inside and out. The seed becomes the plant that bears more fruit. If it remains a seed and never dies and bears fruit, it is eventually cast aside. To know Jesus, and to follow Jesus then is to die to those parts of us that would keep us the same as we started, to let the restoring power of God change us into something new and beautiful.
Questions for Reflection or Journaling
- What scares you to death? Is it fearing how others perceive you? Is it the thought of loosing control?
- What does your life look like under the transformation God provides in Jesus Christ? Do you have a seed-to-plant story?
Father in heaven, grant us today a glimpse of the day you will fulfill your will in us. As we follow your son, even into his death on the cross, we anticipate the knowledge of his resurrection and victory over death on the other side. Grant us today the strength to see your will through in our lives, and may we honor you.