Here is one of the teachings of Jesus shortly before he died. His response was in a way that everyone could understand. He used a wonderful illustration to share and reveal the meaning of what he was going to do.
John 12: 23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die… And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
The Greeks wanted to learn the truth about Jesus of Nazareth. They knew he would be in Jerusalem for the Passover. The words he said in response to them were precious; his time was running out, so in a simple way Jesus compared himself to the everyday part of life to help them understand what would happen.
Jesus had told the disciples time and again that he would die, but they didn’t understand it; maybe they took it figuratively instead of literally. Many were still eager to listen to him. The Sanhedrin still opposed him, but Jesus came to tell the truth. If that truth upset their world, so be it. If is upsets ours, so be it. There must be an acknowledgment of sins to help us see ourselves lost and deserving of hell. We must see that in order to be saved. It took a high price to save us.
Jesus likened it to a seed put in the earth and covered. It would die, abide in the earth and then spring forth in new life and bear fruit. At Easter we see the falling and the lifting up. His suffering, death and burial do just that. Jesus fell to this earth by taking on humanity. He died for our sins and came forth from the grave on the third day. We must see Jesus for who he is. It had to first be like this—a falling.
The reason we have troubles in this world goes back to Adam and Eve and their fall into sin in the Garden of Eden. By their transgression of God’s commandment, paradise was lost and every generation from that time forth paid for it. No generation has succeeded in recovery by other means. Without a Savior we are fallen and dead in trespasses and sins. The only way to be saved is by someone taking the fall. Jesus took it for us. The plan of God before the world existed was completed in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
God’s son Jesus fell into humanity and set his face to helping us. Everyone around him was fallen in sin, but he alone stood. It’s the only way we can be lifted up. Whether you acknowledge it or not, you are fallen and can’t save yourself. It took someone to come down. He had to fall under the weight and curse of sin. He willingly got under the load and fell. Before a seed can sprout its fruit, it has to fall. This is why Jesus got under it. He bore the cross falling many times. Pilate found no fault in him. It was our condemnation, and Jesus took it. Bearing his own cross he went to Calvary. For six long hours his life fell away. He looked at the crowd and saw every person who would ever be—humanity of all time. We deserved to be on the cross, yet he said even of those there that day Father, forgive them for they know not what they do. Even at the last minute he could have changed his mind and stopped it all, but he let himself completely fall. When he said it is finished he committed to God what he had done. He had told them if I be lifted up I’ll draw all men to me. That’s what he did. He was lifted up on the cross.
They pulled the nails out. Before the cross was the dead body of Jesus. Because of his death, you and I don’t have to worry about dying and opening our eyes in hell. If we’re willing to trust Jesus, we can be saved. By his body being put in the grave just like the seed, the prince of this world has to let go. Before the lifting of our souls, there had to be a falling of his body. Our punishment was upon his body and he died in our place. Covered in the garden as a seed he then came forth. The grave opened up. He was lifted out of death as a living Savior and Lord of Lords. He did all this so we could be lifted up.
Forty days later Jesus was lifted up into heaven. The angels said to his followers ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing…this same Jesus will come again in like manner. Today Jesus is at the right hand of the Father as living Lord. He allowed our sins to bury him but he came forth on Easter morning lifted up forevermore.
He did this for all people everywhere. Anyone who believes and calls on the name of the Lord can be saved, can be lifted up and drawn to God. Thank God for the falling and the lifting up again. Thank God for the privilege to call on his name. We have a Savior who can deliver us from it all. He’ll see to it that the devil is pushed out of the way. All you have to do is come. Fall down and call on his name. You can be saved.