Autumn is a favorite time of year for many. Breathtaking colors––vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges––saturate our once-green world for a short time before life gives way to death. It’s beautiful, really. But what’s even more beautiful are the truths exemplified through this process.
Truth is, beauty can be found even in death. Scripture tells us we will be given beauty for our ashes. Even in death, Christ followers are promised life.
This is why Jesus had to die––to bring us life. True life comes through death. [Tweet that]
Jesus told us––as He willingly walked toward the cross, knowing the fate that awaited Him––that “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:24-25, emphasis mine). Jesus was referring to His own death and the harvest it would produce, but then He directed His attention to His disciples telling them they, too, must die.
I always felt like this statement resembled those found on a fortune cookie.
Whoever loves his life loses it.
And whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
What in the world does that mean? I thought.
But one day, I understood. It’s a call to come and die. We must die to ourselves in order to truly live. Once again, death brings life––beauty.
I love Jesus’ explanation here because I believe it brings great understanding to what He was saying. A seed must fall to the earth and die in order for new life to finally take root and grow. Seeds must die and be driven into the ground in order to come alive in a new greater way, for the plant produced bears little resemblance to the seed it once was.
Just like that seed, we are called to die to ourselves. All those selfish things we want to do or say. All those seemingly innocent desires for food or alcohol or fashion or sex or gossip (or whatever else it is for you) that can so quickly get away from us and become unhealthy or even sinful. All those selfish desires to hoard our time, our money, or our resources. All those areas of distrust such as our finances or our health that are driven by fear, not faith. All our sins. All of it is to die if we have aspirations to live. And I mean really live.
We are not called to be the center of our own world. Christ is to be center. Yet, Jesus will not take His rightful place until we deliberately choose to get out of His way. [Tweet that] Until we choose to die to ourselves and allow Him to raise us to new life. This is where beauty begins. Beauty begins with death. So, as you go about your day today, taking in all the beauty fall has to offer, be sure to remember––there is beauty to be found in death.
And then come to Jesus and die.
How have you learned to die to yourself? I’d love to hear about your experience that we all may come to learn from one another! Be sure to share in the comments.