“Jesus awakes, as a mighty man from his slumber, unwraps the napkin from His head and lays it by itself; unwinds the grave clothes in which love had wrapped Him and puts them by themselves; for He had abundant leisure; He was in no haste; He was not about to escape like a felon who bursts the prison, but like one whose time of jail-deliverance has come and lawfully and leisurely leaves his cell. He steps to the upper air, bright, shining, glorious, and fair. He lives! He died once, but He rose from the dead! There is no need for us to enlarge here. We only pause to remark that this is one of the most jubilant notes in the whole Gospel scale….Death is overcome! There is found a man Who by His own power was able to struggle with death and hurl him down. The grave is opened! There is found a man able to dash back its bolts and to rifle its treasures. And thus, brethren, having delivered Himself, He is able also to deliver others.”
Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
The context (John 12:23-33) from which Jesus’ words here are quoted was that which spoke of his impending crucifixion. “The hour has come” for Him “to be glorified.” That glorification awaited Him as He continued to follow the will of the Father; when He would be lifted up, and so draw unto Himself those that receive the truth of His word. These would die to themselves, take up their crosses and follow Him.
Jesus left in the borrowed tomb the seeds of new life for all those who belong to Him. He finished the planting that He came to do. He was raised and now waits and rejoices over every new plant. His Holy Spirit waters by the word of truth in each heart and brings to life what Jesus planted. Those seeds are eternal, continuing to bear fruit.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you,
that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:
that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
Dear Father, today, please bring forth new plants for your joy; and water what you have planted within us by your Spirit. Let the word of Christ dwell in our hearts richly so as to bring forth the fruit of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and temperance. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.