v 24. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.
John’s story of Jesus now enters its most vital stage. He has spent eleven chapters on the events surrounding three years of Jesus’ life of Public Ministry but now writes another ten chapters about the final week of His earthly life. Jesus was about to enter into His glorious kingdom – not with a coronation but a crucifixion. It is only through death that new life can emerge. Here we have the most basic of all spiritual realities – new life can only come about through death.
Certainly this was fundamentally true of Jesus. It was not by great miracles (though they served a good purpose), nor by persuasive teaching (hugely important though that was), not even by loving unlovely people (amazing though that seems) – that the pathway to new life with God was opened up for us. New life became available, and the door to eternal glory was opened, through the death of God’s dear Son, Jesus. No wonder we find Jesus praying in verse 26 ‘ “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came!‘ Jesus looked into the abyss of crucifixion and death and saw it as the plan of His Father to redeem a world that gone rotten at core. At this moment in the story Jesus stands on the brink of fulfilling that ultimate purpose and He is not going to be diverted from it.