“Dear friends, if such be death – if it be but a sowing, let us have done with all faithless, hopeless, graceless sorrow … ‘Our family circle has been broken,’ say you. Yes, but only broken that it may be re-formed. You have lost a dear friend: yes, but only lost that friend that you may find him again, and find more than you lost. They are not lost; they are sown.” Spurgeon
Oh, the sorrow of death and the grave. It is final and unforgiving. It doesn’t care how old you are how much money you have. It’s coming for each one of us and when it does there is no stopping it. But what if I told you that though you cannot stop it or control it you can have victory over it. Death is not the end for everyone. For some, all sorrow will be turned to joy and darkness to light by the power of Jesus’s resurrection.
“But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?’ You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.” 1 Corinthians 15:35-36
It’s a hard statement to swallow; that what you sow does not come to life unless it dies. In other words, in this fallen world death is necessary. Paul tries to make this clear by using the sowing of a grain of wheat as an example. When the seed is sown it first must die. It breaks down from it’s original bare-kernel state and becomes something altogether different. A different body forms and then emerges with new purpose. Without this process the seed remains in the ground to do nothing more than become part of the earth it’s been buried in. No life beyond its grave. No resurrection.
I imagine that before sin entered the world the process was quite different. Death at that point was not necessary for life in Eden. Everything grew and and flourished without even the shadow of corruption. Then sin came and death touched everything from the heart of man down to even the heart of a seed of grain. But would you ever guess that hidden in that small seed is a picture of hope. The seed is buried, then dies and comes to life again.
There’s Another Seed
The sting of death and the curse of sin would be brought to nothing at the coming of Jesus; born of a virgin; born to die. He is the “Seed of the woman”, as promised in Genesis 3. He is the Lamb slain before the worlds began. He stepped in to time and human flesh to be our propitiation and covering. He did not only come to die, but to kill the curse of death by swallowing it up and standing over it in triumphant victory. Like the seed that is sown in the earth which must die in order to produce fruit, so He also had to die in order that through His death and resurrection we might live unto Him. Through the perfect life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus comes the fruits of everlasting life for those who trust in Him.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
The hope we have now is for a future glory. Our mortal bodies will put on immortality and corruption will put on incorruptibly when we rise from our earthly graves by the same Spirit who rose Christ..
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
Beloved Christian, do not fear death. It is not your business to. You must, instead, live in the victory that is yours and in the assurance that Christ is your life and peace. Flesh and blood cannot inherit Heaven. We must all be sown. But that is not the end. It’s the beginning of greater glory for the redeemed of God. For those who remain in their sin until death, they too will be raised, not to life, but to everlasting destruction. I weep at the thought of it. But if any man look to Jesus and believe that He is the Resurrection and the Life, he shall never die.
A shout out for the amazing blog cover by my nephew , Caleb Quimby