Many people will sit in church meetings this Sunday and observe an occurrence they have never understood. It isn’t that they can’t understand it. It is that they have never truly considered what happened.
Before Jesus gave himself to the Jews and the cross, he explained what he was doing. Jesus told his disciples,
“The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the solemn truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain,” (John 12:23-24).
One can imagine the confused faces of Jesus’ disciples after he said this. What could the Lord possibly mean?
Jesus was about to offer himself to the Jews, to Pilate, and death freely and willingly. Jesus spoke of the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies. This is the commitment he was willing to make for all of human beings. It was through this one selfless act that we become his disciples, We similarly deny ourselves and follow him (Matthew 16:24-25).
Crucifixion was the most painful death man ever devised. It is death by torture and exposure. It is a slow, agonizing execution. This method could take hours or even days for blood loss and the elements to kill. It was purposely meant by the Romans as such.
But Jesus willingly gave himself to die this death. In this way, we can understand the meaning of commitment. Jesus said if anyone wanted to become his disciple he must “take up his cross.”
Yet Jesus was willing to do this so that we might be saved. Without his death, there would have been no shedding of the blood we need to cleanse us of sin (Ephesians 1:7; 2:13). So Jesus, obedient to the Father’s wishes, gave himself to die on the cross for our sins (Titus 2:14).
Faithful Christians can come to understand this kind of love, this kind of commitment. We give ourselves to the Master as willingly as he laid his life down for us.
Have you decided to give your life to him?