Death is Victory and New Life

In the Gospel reading today, Jesus and his disciples are worshipping in the temple for the Passover feast. We hear that some Greeks are there as well, and are wanting to see Jesus. In the temple, the Jewish people were allowed in a courtyard that was closer to the Holy of Holies, but any Gentiles had to worship from a further out courtyard. When the disciples ask him to come and see these Greeks, Jesus strangely starts to talk directly about his own death, instead of addressing the disciples. Jesus’ reflections on his coming sacrifice turns into a short prayer to the Father, who speaks back. What???? I don’t know about you, but if I heard “thunder” or “angels” in response to a prayer that Jesus made, there would be no doubt left in my mind of His divine mission. 

“The hour has come…for this purpose I came to this hour…Now is the time of judgment.” Jesus is trying to tell the people that something is going to happen immediately, it is imminent! This is also true for us, as we’re a couple Sundays away from Easter! But for these people in their time, it’s not the kind of action that they think. The disciples and Jewish people likely still believe that Jesus would come as an earthly, conquering King and Messiah. The imagery that Jesus gives of being “lifted up”, perhaps they believed to be similar to a Roman general returning from a campaign. Being lifted up in praise on a glorious earthly throne. But Jesus’ victory was not against Rome or any kingdom; rather it would be against the sinfulness of humanity itself.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” Jesus mentions this in parallel to his own mission, and thus further reveals the kind of “victory” he would need to win; His death. But he also calls his servants to follow Him. So, are we all called to die like Him? Yes! But this death is not the end of our life; rather it’s the end of sin and the end of death itself. Death is a new beginning for us, and we are “baptised” into Christ’s death so that we will rise with Him at Easter. So how do we truly follow Christ and put our old self to death? Through the Lenten practices we’ve already been doing; fasting, almsgiving, and prayer! Let’s all keep walking strong on the road to Calvary, and meet Jesus there. Let’s receive new life from the waters of mercy that are flowing from His side.

Songs for Reflection

I Will Follow – Chris Tomlin

New Wine – Hillsong Worship

Here’s My Heart – Chris Tomlin

Lead Me to the Cross – Hillsong Worship

Yes and Amen – Housefires

Lord of Lords – Hillsong Worship

Called Me Higher – All Sons and Daughters

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Brendan is just your average Millennial hipster: He likes playing guitar, throwing frisbees, sipping whiskey, and grooming his beard. But he also has a passion for walking with teens and young Christ-followers, hearing every person’s story, and waking up the Church. Brendan works at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lenexa, Kansas (near Kansas City) as a Youth Music Minister, fusing together his two loves of sharing Christ and sharing the power and need for good and beautiful contemporary praise.

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