Sounds almost like an oxymoron, death bringing life. But it is not and Jesus knew that. I sometimes wonder when Jesus realized that He was destined to die a death on the cross. And not just a death as a criminal according to those who crucified Him, but a death as our Lord and a Saviour. I cannot fathom that kind of love. That kind of sacrifice. To most of us, a major sacrifice is letting someone go before us in line or letting them taking the last biscuit at dinner. No, this was a sacrifice unto death. Bone crushing, bloodletting death. Gruesome, horrible death. His blood spilled for the remittance of our sins, His body broken for our healing. His death for our life. His blood spilled into the ground for our salvation. His body bruised and torn for our restoration. Everything we needed to become the children of God provided for in that grisly, appalling, glorious death.
In essence His death providing the necessary nutrients for us to become and grow as Christians. Here we were, sin sick people. Nothing good in us. Kind of like that soil that my dad had to work so hard with. We were a hard people, dry and barren and unfruitful. God saw what it would take to make us into good soil, rich soil, fruit producing soil. He needed something that would change that dry, unyielding dirt. He couldn't just go to the local hardware store and buy a few bags of fertilizer. No, He knew it would take something more than that to make that soil fruitful and prolific. It would take the blood and body of His own Son.
Seriously I am in tears here. My Lord and Saviour gave His life so that I might have life, and that life more abundantly. Why? So I could sit here and do my own thing. So I could make it through one more day by the skin of my teeth. So I could struggle through another dawn to dusk waiting to fall into bed just so the day would be over. He said He came that we might have life, and life more abundantly. I don't know about you, but most days the only thing abundant is my griping and complaining. That is sad to say and I think I need to re-think why I am here and what I am here to do.
If we read the Bible correctly, then it is an example of how we are to live. And then when you take the scripture and really look at it, there is no question. Paul said that we as disciples of Christ are crucified with Him. Galations 2:20 says, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me". We are to be as Christ, crucified to the things of the flesh, to those things that keep us from Him and living for Him. "And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me," Luke 9:23. And Romans 6:11, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." We see a recurring theme here. Crucified, die, take up the cross. Jesus took up the cross, was crucified and died so that we would live. We are to do the same so that others will have that chance at life. We are to pour ourselves out, as He did so that others will see Him in us. We are to crush the flesh so that we can become just like those nutrients to the lifeless dry soil in their lives. For all effects and purposes we are to become as fertilizer. Doesn't sound glamorous? I'm sorry...not. We were not told this would be an easy life, regardless of what some preach. Let's go over that again; crucified, die, take up the cross. I think the only cross most of us have is getting our signals crossed as to what Jesus requires of us.
We are to live as He did. Dying to ourselves and living for others. That is what fertilizer does. It is an animal that is killed and then crushed to powder. It's blood given to bring needed nutrition to a dying world. That nutrition feeds the soil, which feeds the plant, which feeds the world. We are that blood meal, that bone meal. When we have been broken, like He was we can bring healing. When we give our blood, sweat and tears we can share His salvation with a lost and dying world. But it requires all of us, all the time. Complete surrender, complete death to ourselves and complete devotion to Him and those He loves. No half measures, no half baked attempts. Completely crushed, drained of every drop. I am reasonably sure that even the greatest scientist could not reassemble that cow from bones that have been ground to dust and blood that has been dried and turned into powder. Imagine, the life of one cow bringing health and life to many people. Imagine ourselves, bringing the news of salvation and healing to many. Imagine us truly fulfilling the Great Commission and going out and making disciples. Bringing His life and hope to so many.
Hope; I think that is the reason I love spring so much. It speaks of hope. Green shoots coming forth from the earth, buds forming on trees, birds making nests. I cannot wait to sit in my back yard and enjoy all the benefits of the hard work done to turn the hard, unproductive soil into ground that will grow plants that will yield an abundant crop. And as I think of that, my prayer is that I also will be in a continual state of crucifying the flesh, dying daily and taking up my cross. You see, there is a harvest out there just waiting.