Lent 5 B 2021
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
This morning our Gospel text informs us that among those who went up to worship at the Passover Festival were some Greeks that had heard about Christ’s Ministry and His Mission. And we can assume from our reading that these Greeks must have been quite impressed at what was happening because never before had they heard about such power and authority.
After all, who wouldn’t have been amazed at what was happening. Just think about it. “The sick had been cured, the blind had been given back their sight, and the lame had been given back their ability to walk.”
And so, when the news of these events had reached these men, they wanted to see for themselves the wonders that were taking place. And when they arrived, they found Phillip, and they said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” And Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus that these men wanted to see Him.
And when Jesus heard that these Gentile outsiders were looking for Him, this bit of news launched the wonderful proclamation that “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” For you see the one that had repeatedly said that the time was not yet, now stated that the time for the Son of Man to save God’s people was upon them.
And then Jesus explained to His disciples exactly what this meant. For if anyone wants to see Jesus, they must die, as a seed dies. And if anyone wants to see Jesus, then they must hate their life in this world and get rid of all that blinds them of their vision of Him. And if anyone truly wants to see Jesus, they must stop what they are doing and serve Him and follow Him.
For Jesus came to bring us life, abundant life, fruitful life, long lasting life. But the remarkable thing about it is, is that it first took His death for us to receive this life.
We now know of course that Jesus was talking about His impending death on a cross. But at the time His disciples did not know the heartbreaking events that would soon unfold for our salvation.
So, Jesus told them a parable and explained to them that unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains just a single grain of wheat. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
And with these words Jesus gave His disciples the news that soon His death would indeed occur, and a seed would be planted in our world. And this seed would become “The Seed of Resurrected Life.”
For the Cross that Jesus would hang on would become the garden tool that God would use to break the ground for us to participate in the life that God had intended for us.
Therefore, the soil of the grave would forever be unable to hold those that put their trust in Him because another Season has been added to our lifespan.
And that Season includes a time of resurrected life, and a time of abundant harvest, and a time of eternity spent with God. For we have been promised that those who die with Christ will also rise with Christ.
And the “Good News” for us is that all this happens because God makes it happen. And all that is required for us to participate is to trust and believe in God’s promises.
For just as a farmer trusts that the seeds that he or she plants into the ground will sprout and mature and bear fruit, we too can be confident that the seed of life planted in us through the death and resurrection of Christ will sprout and grant us eternal life.
Therefore, as we gather in a weeks’ time to see Jesus during what we now know as Holy Week, we can rejoice, in spite of all the horrible things humanity did to our Lord and Savior.
For we know that even though the curse of sin and death hangs over us, we also know that our help comes from the Lord. And even though we know that we too must die, we know that what we are dying too is everything that is old and sinful within us so that something new and wonderful can take its place so that we can dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.
Let us pray: Almighty God, Redeemer of all who trust you, heed the cry of your people; deliver us from the bondage of sin, that we may serve you in perfect freedom and rejoice in your unfailing love; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.