John 12:20-26 (A Grain of Wheat – Resurrection Day 2015)

John 12:20-26
A Grain of Wheat
Resurrection Day 2015

The words of Jesus in this passage give us a simple illustration, one which almost anyone on earth grasps even from a very young age. It is that of life coming forth from death. It is the triumph of life over death. And it is found every where that a seed is planted in the ground.

Paul uses this concept as well in 1 Corinthians 15 to teach us this spiritual truth in regards to the body of the resurrected –

“But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.” 1 Corinthians 15:36-38

The church at Corinth was struggling with the thought of the resurrection because some who had come into the church had claimed there was no such thing as resurrection from the dead. Being Greeks, probably trained in the class of the Epicureans or the Stoics, they dismissed the concept of an after-life.

Paul had to correct them on this by reiterating the gospel, which included the resurrection of Christ. They had believed this, but were being misled by those who couldn’t believe that it was possible. Throughout the chapter, Paul demonstrated that Jesus did rise and so there was a precedent for others to do so as well.

In fact, he noted that if there is no resurrection, then the death that Christ died for us was ultimately of no value. In his own words –

“And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” 1 Corinthians 15:17-19

Without a risen Christ to prove that sin was defeated, then we actually remain in our sins, eternally separated from the God who is out there in His infinite realm. Never again would we be able to fellowship with Him. Such is the pitiable state of believing in a “dead Lord.”

And so, in his meticulously careful fashion, Paul laid out the concept of life from death in a manner which those in Corinth (and thus us!) could grasp. Yes, in Christ, there is forgiveness of sins, in Christ, there is hope, and in Christ, there is the anticipation of eternal life once again in the presence of God. In Christ, the restoration of all things is found.

Text Verse: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52

In the 1960s, the seeds of a date palm were found in the Masada fortress which is on the edge of the Dead Sea in Israel. The seeds were, at that time, 2000 years old. They had been preserved by nothing more than simple storage in hot, dry conditions.

Scientists saw little hope of life returning to these long-dead seeds, but they planted them anyway. Like Israel, which had been dead for those same 2000 years, life came out of one of them, making it the oldest seed ever to do so.

Just last week, on the 24th of March, National Geographic did an update on the Methuselah palm. They reported that according to the director of the Arava Institute for Environmental studies where the palm is located that “He is a big boy now.” They say, “He is over … [ten feet] tall, he’s got a few offshoots, he has flowers, and his pollen is good. … We pollinated a female with his pollen, a wild [modern] female, and yeah, he can make dates.”

And so, I highlight three miracles of life from death which occurred in the Land of Israel. Christ rose, Israel was restored to life, and a 2000 year old date palm seed sprang forth to life. Each demonstrates that God is capable of the miraculous. Great is the Lord and He is greatly to be praised.

Along with the revived nation of Israel, that Methuselah Palm, as it has become known, is alive and well today, thriving in the land. Together they stand as a testimony to the fact that God has it all under control. Life can truly come from death.

This is the hope of the believer, it is the promise of God in Christ, and it is therefore an eternal truth which is revealed in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. The Death of Jesus Christ

Referring to our sermon text, when those Greeks came up to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover Feast, they came to the Philip and asked to see Jesus. Philip went and told Andrew and together they told Jesus. Instead of agreeing to see them, the Greek provides a conjunction de which means “but,” or “on the other hand.”

Instead of meeting with them, he simply answered, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”

This doesn’t seem like a way to respond to someone wanting to meet with another person. Imagine someone saying, “Hey Paul, there are a few people here to see you.” In response Paul says, “Until you fill a football with air, it won’t work properly.”

“Uhhh, ok. Is that what you want me to tell them?”

But Jesus had more to say, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

“Ok Jesus, we’ll tell them…” They probably left to tell the Greeks what Jesus said at this time, but immediately after this, He predicted His coming death. Everything was coming to this point and each word He used was uttered as part of a heavenly drama being played out here on earth.

As John recorded the words of his gospel, he saw and understood that which was veiled to him as Jesus spoke. Israel as a whole was looking forward to a Messiah that would deliver them from Roman oppression. They knew from the prophets of old that Israel and Jerusalem would someday be the head of the nations and that the Law would proceed from there.

But there is much more in the Hebrew Scriptures than an earthly Messiah coming to establish the throne of David and to lead the whole world. But the people saw what they wanted to see and they overlooked the things that they found difficult or contrary to what they expected in a Messiah.

The Old Testament shows us that there is a problem with man, an internal problem. Right from the beginning, the problem crept in and ruined the happy state that man was designed for. Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord and they were cast out of the wondrous paradise that He had made for them to dwell in.

The ground became difficult to work and where once flowers filled the air with perfume, thorns came up. Idyllic perfection was swallowed up in toil and hardship. Immediately after the sad account of being cast from the garden, the first thing the next chapter shows us is the birth and naming of sons, Cain and Abel.

In the naming of Cain is implied hope and even victory, but in the naming of Abel there is despondency and a sense of uselessness in life. Eve’s choice of those names was due to how she perceived life in relationship to the garden she had left. She first thought it would be a quick return to it with the birth of Cain, but she soon realized she was mistaken at the birth of Abel.

Immediately after the record of their birth and naming, a large portion of time is skipped over and the next words, which are still in the same verse, tell us of the professions of the two boys. And the next verse after that gives us a clue as to the state of man. It says, “And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord” (Genesis 4:3).

Without any commentary at all and without any note of either boy having done anything wrong, we are told that they made an offering to the Lord. What is implied is that even without any recorded sin, sin existed as a wall between them and the Lord, sin which required an offering. In other words, the Bible is showing us that sin was in the world and that sin is inherited.

To demonstrate this beyond a shadow of a doubt, the next recorded thought is that there was anger and jealousy in Cain, anger and jealousy that led to murder. Imagine that! The first person ever born to the stream of humanity was a murderer. Sin was in the world and it was a deep and potent infection in man.

Out of all of the people born on earth after this, a single line of people are especially highlighted. There were probably millions of people alive by the tenth generation, but only a minute number are mentioned. Within two more chapters, a period of about 1650 years from the creation of the world, things had become so corrupt that we read this in Genesis 6:5 –

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

And so the Lord purposed to destroy the world and start anew with just one man and his family, Noah. The account of Noah takes us through the destruction of the whole earth and everything that had the breath of life in it, with the exception of just 8 people.

When they arrived on the safe shores of the post-flood world, the first thing Noah did after leaving the ark was to sacrifice to the Lord. The sacrifice was one of thanksgiving, but it also showed that Noah understood… sin remained. In response to the offering, the Lord made a comment and a promise –

“I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.” Genesis 8:21

The comment was an acknowledgment of man’s inherited evil, implying guilt. The promise was that He would never again destroy every living thing as He had done, implying mercy. Rather, sin would be dealt with in a different way.

This is the message of the Bible; that sin has to be dealt with, but that it is God, not man, who deals with it. Like before Noah, after him a single line of people is highlighted, from father to son. Each name in this special line is given in anticipation of something big to come.

The line eventually arrived at Abraham, and the story of his life is given in more detail than any other person in more than 2000 years since the creation of the world. To him a promise was made, a promise that was incredible, even beyond belief, and yet Abraham believed. And because of this, we read in Genesis 15:6 –

“And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6

God had declared a man righteous based on mere faith. Abraham had done nothing else, and yet he stood justified before God. That one verse then explains two important things: 1) That when God promises the incredible, He expects us to believe; and 2) when we believe, He is pleased to declare us righteous.

Understanding that, we still need to know that it is God who designates and initiates the action in which we are to place our faith. Misdirected faith is wasted faith. God chooses where the faith is to be placed; we choose to believe or not to believe.

From Abraham came a son, Isaac. And from Isaac came a son Jacob. The line which had been so meticulously detailed from the first man was continued through them. From Jacob, who is Israel, came twelve sons who became a collective group of people.

Unlike a single line from a single son, the entire clan of Israel was now the focus of the Bible. Through them, the stories of redemptive history continued including those of Moses, the law-giver, and David, the great king, among many others.

The story of Israel is the story of a collective group of people, living under the law of God and continuously failing to meet the standards of that law. Within that huge body of the law is a note in the book of Leviticus where the Lord says, “You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18:5

However, as is seen, the Bible records the continuous failure of the people to meet these impossible standards. But there is a provision within the Law for life. It was found each year on the Day of Atonement. On this one day each year, the people who came and confessed their sins could have their sins transferred to a substitute.

An animal was slaughtered and its blood was sprinkled before the Lord. The life of an innocent animal was given to restore the people to a propitious place with God. However, this measure was only temporary. The fact that it had to be offered year by year proved that the sin had not departed from the person; rather, the guilt for the sin was only temporarily atoned for.

The Bible later explains that the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin. An animal is in a different category than man. As that is true, then why wasn’t a person selected to be sacrificed? If someone in the same category could take the place of another, wouldn’t taking that avenue be acceptable?

No, it wouldn’t. The reason is because another human, born of a man from Adam already bore the sin of Adam – remember the lesson from the lives of Cain and Abel. One cannot atone for sin with a life that is stained with sin. The Bible shows attempts of people groups to do just this, sacrificing children, and God rejected those offerings. In fact they were an abomination to Him.

Offering sin in an attempt to expiate sin only increased the guilt. An offering of a man would not take care of the problem. And yet… eventually the prophet Isaiah arrived on the scene and he seemed to indicate that a Man would, in fact, come and bear the guilt of others. Here is what he writes in the 53rd chapter of the book which bears his name –

“Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:4-6

How could this be? How could the Lord lay on a Man the iniquity of all people? Let’s go back to Abraham. He was given an incredible promise, he believed the promise, and by faith alone he was counted as righteous. Some years later, and in confirmation of that promise, he was given a sign – circumcision.

A sign is something that points to something else. Circumcision pointed to the fulfillment of that promise and it made a picture at the same time. The picture was that of cutting away sin. Sin came from Adam and transmitted from father to child. In cutting the skin of the body part through which sin was transferred, it made a picture of the cutting away of that sin.

Therefore, in circumcision is a sign of promise and that sign deals with the ending of sin – the very problem which has plagued man from the beginning and which has kept man from returning to God’s garden of delight.

So here we are back at the time of the law now. Year after year, sin is forgiven, but the sin problem continues. And under that law is a promise of someone who would come and bear the guilt of man. Logically, if He was to do this and it was considered acceptable by the Lord for Him to be offered in this way, then He could not have any sin of His own. If He did, He couldn’t be made a sin offering. Two plus two equals four, even in spiritual matters.

The record of the people of Israel continued and the genealogies of the people were recorded meticulously. Into this group of people was born a woman named Mary who was already betrothed to a man named Joseph who was of the line of the great king, David.

However, before they had come together, she was visited by an angel who told her she would bear a Son. She questioned how that was possible when she had not known a man. The angel responded with amazing words –

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35

Without going into all of the finer details, we can look back on this event and put the two’s together. A woman will bear a Child; thus He is fully Man. However, His Father is God; thus He is fully God. The ancient rite of circumcision, the sign and the picture, are both fulfilled in this Child.

The line of sin is cut in Him; no sin was transmitted from Father to Son as it had been for so long. And this One was qualified to bear the iniquity of all men because He was born without sin. Hope was to be found in this Child, the Hope of God in His provision.

The Child was born without sin, and He was born under the Law of God, which no one could fulfill, something the entire record of the Old Testament shows us. The sin was too deep, the infection was complete. The law, instead of bringing life, only brought death.

But now there was hope. Because the Child, Jesus, was born without sin, He was qualified to replace Adam and to bear the guilt of Adam’s seed. But He not only had to be born without sin, He had to live sinless as well. This is what the gospels record for us – the sinless entry of Jesus into the world and the sinless life He lived in the world.

In Him the law could be kept and in Him, the law was kept. But, Isaiah showed in advance of His coming that this Man would bear the iniquity of us all. His words presuppose that He would have to die. The reason is that the Bible says this in Hebrews –

“And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22

The verse that the author of Hebrews is referring to is found in Leviticus 17 –

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” Leviticus 17:11

Without the shedding of the blood of an innocent life, there can be no atonement for the sin of another. The standard belongs to God and the price must be paid. Thus Jesus Christ had to die in order for us to live. The seed had to be planted before life could come up from it.

And so Jesus willingly offered Himself in exchange for the sins of the world. Such a fearful thing this was that moments before the commitment was executed, He implored His Father – if there was only another way to handle their sin. There in another garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, we are told that –

“He knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, ‘Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:41-42

The cup He spoke of was the cup of wrath, the cup of God’s wrath at the sins of man, committed since the first moments He walked on earth and even until the last moments before the final judgment will come some day.

All of the sin of the world was poured into this cup and Christ our Lord was expected to drink it down to its dregs. Punishment must be meted out and it will either be in the offender or in a substitute. Christ chose to be that Substitute for all who would believe. So great was His anguish at the thought of what was ahead that the passage continues on with these words –

“Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:43, 44

He did drink it though, all of it. He allowed Himself to be beaten mercilessly by the creatures He created, and then He allowed them to nail Him to the cross of Calvary, where His life would end in anguish that you and I will never be able to imagine. There, on that wooden instrument of death, the high price of the sins of the world was paid.

The law was given and it served its purpose. Among many other reasons, three main points for the giving of the law are noted: 1) It was to show man God’s standard; that it is completely out of our ability to meet. 2) It reveals how utterly sinful sin is. And, 3) the law was intended to lead us to His Son, Jesus – the Messiah of the Jews and the Christ of the nations.

He is the fulfillment of the law and thus He is the embodiment of it. Because of this, man’s sin can be transferred to His death. The way this is accomplished is exactly the same way that Abraham was declared righteous. Abraham was given an incredible promise and yet he believed it, demonstrating faith in God’s provision.

We are given an incredible promise as well, the forgiveness of our sins through God’s provision. What God expects is that we demonstrate the same faith, the faith of Abraham, in what God has promised is true. By mere faith, and by faith alone, we are forgiven every sin we have ever committed.

And to show us how sincere we must be we are told that if we attempt to merit God’s favor by working deeds of that law for righteousness, we actually condemn ourselves further. The reason is that we are saying to God, “What You have done is insufficient; I will attain righteousness on my own.”

It is, in essence, a slap in God’s face at the rejection of His Gift. For such an offense, we are obliged to fulfill the entire law. It is a self-condemning act. The cross of Jesus stands as a sign to the people of the world that there is forgiveness and hope. But there is more to this story than the death of God’s Son. It is the reason we are here today. We worship a crucified Man who defeated death.

A cross is there on the hill of Calvary
It is a sign of God’s love to the people of the world
On that cross Jesus died for you and for me
The greatest display of love ever, was on that day unfurled

Oh! That Christ would die for sinners like us!
How deep is the love of God for this to have come about?
Wondrous is the giving of His own Son, Jesus
So take hold of the promise, stand fast and do not doubt

Christ died and into the grave He went – had death won?
A lifeless body, seemingly the end of the story
But No! Death could not hold the sinless Son
He burst forth from the grave in radiant glory!

II. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is death. It is an axiom from the first pages of the Bible. Man dies because man has sinned. But the Bible also teaches that there are two kinds of death. There is physical death and there is spiritual death. Both of these types of death result because of sin. And we know this because God said to Adam these words before he sinned –

“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16, 17

In the next chapter, we saw Adam sin and yet by Chapter 5 we are told that he lived a full 930 years, having had sons and daughters born to him during that time. If God said that he would die on the day that he ate of the fruit and yet he continued to live for 930 years, then either the Bible is wrong and we have our eggs in the wrong basket, or God wasn’t speaking of physical death.

And sure enough, He wasn’t. Throughout the Bible, the spiritually dead nature of man is seen. We are born dead, and we live dead until we die. We are spiritually disconnected from God because of sin. The other kind of death, physical death, is also a result of sin, but that was pronounced after the man had sinned –

“Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.” Genesis 3:17-19

And so there is a truth for us to consider. If the first death, the spiritual death, isn’t corrected before the physical death comes, then we will be forever separated from God. There will be no return to the Garden of Delight. But in Christ, that is reversed.

This is what He did for us. And through faith in His atoning death, and by faith alone in His work, we are declared righteous by God and we are quickened to new life. Our spiritual death is ended and we move from Adam to Christ. He becomes our Federal Head. The Seed which was planted becomes our hope.

And to prove that He accomplished this for us, He was resurrected by God the Father. He prevailed over death because the wages of sin is death, but He had no sin of His own. Therefore death could not hold him. It was impossible for Him to remain in the grave.

But we still have the inescapable truth that Jesus Christ died on that cross. The record of this is as sure as any death testimony ever recorded. He died on that cross. But… but! If “the wages of sin is death” and He had no sin, as is well attested to, and yet He died, then sin must have been involved in His death.

Just like the innocent animals at the temple in Jerusalem which were slaughtered for the sins of the people, sin was involved and death was involved. Yes, sin was involved in the death of Jesus, just not His sin.

Thus two great acts were accomplished in His work. First, He died for our sins, not His; and second He came to life because He had no sin of His own. This is why Paul so assuredly states (and which I will explain as we go) –

“*In Him [meaning in Christ] *you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands [circumcision, a right standing with God and a sign of son-ship based on the pattern of Abraham], *by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh [we have died with Christ in our body of sin], *by the circumcision of Christ [righteousness imputed to us because of His work], *12 buried with Him in baptism [the seed is planted], *in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God [the seed has sprouted to new and eternal life by God], *who raised Him from the dead [God who saw no sin in His Son, and thus raised Him to life, has also raised us to life through His Son]. *13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh [spiritual death received from our father Adam], *He has made alive together with Him [spiritual life received from Christ], *having forgiven you all trespasses [because of Christ, our atoning sacrifice], *14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us [the Law of Moses which is God’s standard], *which was contrary to us [which brought death rather than life, and which showed us how utterly sinful our sin was to God]. *And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross [the Law is fulfilled, it is annulled, it is obsolete, and it is finished]. Colossians 2:11-14 (with my comments in brackets)

The law which brought death is fulfilled in Christ and that law is nailed to the cross. Therefore our sin is removed in His death, and our spirit is revived because sin is abolished in us. Therefore, through the death and resurrection of Christ we are restored to the eternal life which was lost so long ago. Access to that wondrous Garden of Delight is granted.

This is why when Jesus died the veil was torn on the temple. The veil faced east and on it were woven cherubim. Behind the veil is where the presence of God was manifest. All of this pictured restored access to God. In the very last verse of Genesis 3, just before the Bible begins to detail our long and troubled history, it says this –

“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Genesis 3:24

It is in the death of Christ that access is restored to God and to His wondrous Garden of Delight. The proof of that is in the resurrection. His death made access available to God once again, and His resurrection is what seals that for all eternity.

Paul shows us that our faith in this work of Christ is what has made this all possible. Returning to Abraham and righteousness based on faith, he writes this to us in Romans 4 –

“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.” Romans 4:20-25

This is why we are here today! This is why we worship Jesus.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24

The Seed that was planted has brought many, many sons to glory. We don’t worship a dead Lord, we serve the risen One! When speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus said –

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

The work was accomplished by God and the offering is made to all. And because this is the work of God, Jesus wants us to understand the consequences of not receiving what He did for us. Just two verses later, they are recorded by John –

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

We live in a hopelessly confused world which teaches that there isn’t one truth concerning God. Rather many, or even all, paths lead to Him. But that is the great lie of the devil. Jesus was very clear in His words to the people when He spoke –

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

God loves us enough to have sent His only begotten Son into the world to restore us to Himself. And He respects us enough to allow us to choose Him or to reject Him. He has granted you, O man, this one life to get it right. I suggest you choose wisely, choose Jesus. The Lord holds out those nail-scarred hands and grants you an offer of peace –

“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2

May the Light of Christ shine upon you; may the Life of Christ restore you; may the Grace of Christ fill you; and may the Love of Christ envelope you. All hail the Lamb who was slain; all hail the Lord who arose; all hail the King of kings and the Lord of Lords; all hail the exalted name of Jesus Christ. And all of God’s people said… Amen.

And amen!

Closing Verse: He is risen! Mark 16:6

It is fitting that the plant which is growing in Israel today from a 2000 year old seed is a date palm. The date palm in Hebrew is known as a tamar. In the 92nd Psalm we’re told that “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree (tamar).” It could be that Jesus Himself sat under the palm which bore that fruit.

Now, 2000 years later, He will soon be returning to Israel. Before He does, the nation itself will flourish in Him, calling on Him as their true King. That palm is a testament to the faithfulness of God that He is willing to restore His wayward people, be they Jew or Gentile, and grant them a righteousness not their own through the gift of His Son, Jesus.

All have access to the precious fruit of the Tree of Life once again because of the Seed which was planted, but which sprouted to life at the call of God. If you are watching this video on You Tube and have benefited from it, please share it in hopes of another seeing it and coming to understand the significance of who Jesus Christ is.

Next Week: Exodus 8:1-7 (The Plague of Frogs, Part I) (21st Exodus Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and a purpose for you. Even if the very gates of death await you today, He can burst through those gates for you as He did Himself 2000 years ago. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you. No fear here. Christ is risen!

A Celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

This is the gospel which was preached to you
It is also the one you received and on which you stand
It is the gospel of salvation, providing life that’s new
And which will carry you to the promised Holy Land

What is delivered to you is what was before received
That Christ died for our sins according to God’s word
He was buried and He rose and so we have believed
And many witnesses testify to this message you have heard

Now if Christ is preached that He is risen from the dead
How can some among you say the resurrection isn’t true?
If there is no resurrection after Christ was crucified and bled
Then our faith as well as yours is certainly askew

And if so, we are found false witnesses of God
Because we have wrongly testified of this mighty deed
And our faith is futile, no heavenly street’s we’ll trod
And we are still dead in our sins, fallen Adam’s seed

Even more, those who have fallen asleep in the Lord are gone
And we are the most pitiable creatures the world could ever look upon

But indeed Christ is risen from the dead
He is the Firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep
And as death came through one Man, Adam our federal head
So Christ will make all alive, our souls He will keep

But there is an order to the Resurrection call
Christ was first, the pattern for the rest when He comes
When He does, He will make a shout out to us all
And we will rise as if to the sounds of heavenly battle drums

Then comes the time, when He delivers the kingdom to the Father
When all rule, authority, and power have come to an end
The last enemy to be destroyed is death, never more to bother
Then the Son will to the Father eternal rule extend

But you ask, what will we be like after our time of sleep
After we have been buried in corruption’s pit so deep

Our body is sown in dishonor, but it will be raised in glory
It is sown in weakness, but raised in power – the resurrection story

The first man Adam became a living being, it’s true
The last Adam became a life-giving spirit, life to me and you

And as was the man of dust, created so long ago
So are those likened unto him, also made of dust
And as is the Man, the Lord from heaven, you know
That we shall bear His image for eternity just as we’ve discussed

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God
Nor can corruption inherit that which in incorrupt
Be we shall all be changed, and so heavenly streets we’ll trod
In the twinkling of an eye, the change will be abrupt

When the last trumpet sounds we will be taken to glory
We shall all be changed, completion of the gospel story

Where O Death, O where is your sting
When Christ our Savior, us to Himself does He bring

Where O Hades, O where is your victory
When Christ translates His children to eternal glory

The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin the law
But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord
My beloved brethren be steadfast in all you’ve heard and saw
And cling confidently to God’s eternal word

Know for certain that your labor is not in vain
Be of good cheer, Christ is coming again

Hallelujah and Amen…



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