Resurrection Sunday, the most glorious of celebrations, is upon us. The apostle Paul has said, if there is no resurrection then our faith is in vain. That is why this time of year the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is so precious to the Christian. For in Christ's resurrection the believer knows that he is free from the guilt, shame, stain of sin.
One of the most brilliant metaphors Jesus used was that of the seed. Jesus welcomed all people who came to Him. From the vilest of sinners to the most corrupt religious leaders, Jesus gladly sat with and listened to anyone. Many people who met Jesus were transformed into authentic followers. Unfortunately, not all who came to Him left as a changed person. Jesus said, "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" John 12:23-24. Yes, Jesus welcomed all comers, but Jesus was very clear about what it cost to be one of His disciples—it meant dying before one could truly live.
The miracle of the "death" of a seed is beyond explanation. Scientists can describe how it works but they certainly cannot explain why it works. Jesus is correct; a seed must die before it transforms into something completely different than what it was when it went into the ground. The metaphor Jesus uses tells us that mankind is born into sin, and it is only through his complete surrender (dying) to faith in Jesus Christ that he can freely live. Paul also used Jesus' analogy when he wrote, "What you sow does not come to life unless it dies" 1 Cor. 15:36.
If you haven't noticed, our summer theme, Die and Live Free is a variation of the NH state motto, as well as a reference to Jesus' call to authentic faith. As you consider the words of Jesus and Paul, it would seem that Die and Live Free is more appropriate for those who choose to follow Jesus. Paul wrote these words to the Galatians, which is our theme verse for the summer: "I have been crucified with Christ. Therefore it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" Gal. 2:20.
As summer approaches let us prepare our bodiesfor reunion and respite. Prepare our minds for renewal and remembrance. And prepare ourhearts for revival and restoration. And let our soulsrejoice in the resurrection of our Savior, who offers His followers the same freedom!
May you have a truly blessed Resurrection Day, never forgetting that His resurrection is our resurrection!