Page 7 - June 2021 - Truth & Tidings
P. 7

His followers, Jesus said, “Unless a kernel   the cup after supper, saying, This cup is
        of wheat falls into the ground and dies,   the new testament in my blood, which is
        it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it   shed for you” (Luk 22:19-20). Quite evi-
        produces much grain” (Joh 12:24 NET).   dently, He spoke of His death as a sacrifice.
        Ironically, the Pharisees had just said that   He was just hours away from giving His
        “the world is gone after him” (v19). Even   all for us. Don’t overlook those precious
        the Greeks wanted to see Him (v20). But   words stated twice – “for you.”
        Christ spoke of Himself as being buried
        in the earth, out of sight, like a kernel   Parabolic Prediction
        of wheat. Yet such a planting was most   In Matthew 21, Jesus gave two vineyard
        necessary if there was to be a harvest to   parables, the first (vv28-32) foretelling the
        follow. How many grains have come from   rejection of the Father by Israel’s leaders.
        that one seed! Thank God we are a part of   In the second (vv33-41), He predicts their
        such a bountiful harvest.             rejection and killing of the Son, “the heir”
          In a remarkable contrast to His being   (v38), who had been sent to receive the
        planted in the ground, Jesus spoke on   fruit that the vineyard owner expected.
        the same occasion of His death as a lift-  Rather than receiving and honoring the
        ing up. “And I, when I am lifted up from   son, the tenants of the vineyard cast him
        the earth, will draw all people to myself.   out and kill him (v39) in the hopes that
        Now he said this to indicate clearly what   the inheritance might become theirs. But
        kind of death he was going to die” (Joh   rather than the tenants receiving the in-
        12:32-33 NET). This is the third time in   heritance, the owner sends judgment for
        John’s Gospel that we find this metaphor,   their wicked actions. Jesus then quoted
        a clear indication of His death on a cross.   Psalm 118:22-23, explaining that He was
        In John 8:28, Jesus foretold that His lifting   the rejected Son and the religious leaders
        up would lead some to recognize Him
        (“When ye have lifted up the Son of man,   of Israel were the tenants. Interestingly,
        then shall ye know that I am he”). Here   although Jesus’ disciples often failed to
        in John 12, His lifting up would lead the   comprehend His passion predictions,
        world not just to recognize Him, but to   Israel’s leaders didn’t miss it here – “And
        come to Him, as if drawn by a spiritual   when the chief priests and Pharisees had
        magnet (“I … will draw all people to my-  heard his parables, they perceived that he
        self”). In John 3, the result of coming to   spake of them” (Mat 21:45).
        Him is described to Nicodemus and all   We have only scratched the surface of
        those who have placed their faith in Christ   our Savior’s passion predictions. Remark-
        – “the Son of man must be lifted up: That   ably, the Apostle John tells us, “Jesus
        whosoever believeth in him should not   therefore, knowing all things that should
        perish, but have eternal life” (vv14-15).   come upon him, went forth” (Joh 18:4). In
          Chronologically, the last of Jesus’   the months to follow, we will attempt with
        metaphoric predictions of His death came   great reverence to study Christ’s sacred
        when He sat down at the table with His   path to the cross, moving from prediction
        disciples and instituted the Lord’s Supper.   to fulfillment. As we do, may we pause of-
        Taking bread, He said, “This is my body   ten to marvel and worship the One whose
        which is given for you …. Likewise also   steps took Him all the way to Calvary.

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