The last word is life
For reading & meditation: John 10:7-18
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (v.10)
At the close of our meditations we look at the results of the momentous choice Jesus made when the Greeks said: "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Our Lord saw that three things would happen: first, the judgment of this world (John 12:31
). What did choosing the cross have to do with that? This - the cross is the judgment seat of the world. I confess that the Man on the cross judges me, convicts me, challenges me. His Spirit of facing the world's sin and suffering makes my spirit tremble like a magnetic needle in a storm. At the cross, His love judges my hate, my selfishness, my desire to live only for myself. His self-sacrifice inspires my self-sacrifice. The second thing our Lord saw would happen was the overpowering of Satan: "Now shall the ruler of this world be cast out" (John 12:31
, RSV). He would overthrow Satan, not by breaking his head, but by letting him break His heart. Third, He would make the cross the magnet by which He would draw all people to Himself: "But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself" (John 12:32
). His choice was made - and hopefully, ours is also. No longer will we lie on the edge of life's furrow - "a corn of wheat afraid to die" - but willingly roll over into the dark channel of death, knowing, as we do, that from our death will come a life that is well-pleasing to God - fruitful, profitable and productive. Afraid to die? No - afraid to live. For life that is not preceded by death is a life not worth living.
O Father, burn the message into my heart that when I try to save my life, I succeed only in losing it. And help me never to forget that the last word is not death, but life. Thank You, Father. Amen.
For further study:
1. What was Paul's great declaration?
2. Can you make that same declaration?