The Intentionality of Christ
They Must die. Let them.
I know this is going to come off like.. What the heck, Let them die. Well Yes! Unless and until we understand this simple aspect of the cross we will certainly miss the intended purpose of the cross. Let's get started.
Jesus Predicts His Death
…23But Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.…
The intentionality of the Cross of Christ.
Done by intention or design: INTENDED:
INTENTION, INTENT, PURPOSE, DESIGN, AIM, END, OBJECT, OBJECTIVE, GOAL
mean what one intends to accomplish or attain. INTENTION implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about.
Jesus announced his intention to marry the Bride/Church, INTENT suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness. The clear intent of the statute PURPOSE suggests a more settled determination. Being successful was His purpose in life. His DESIGN implies a more carefully calculated plan, and the order of events did not come by accident or design but by AIM adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing something intended for your life. His Aim was to raise up an army of disciples’ To this END stresses the intended effect of action often in distinction or contrast to the action or means as such. God willing to use Any means to achieve His end. His OBJECT something mental or physical toward which thought, feeling, or action is directed. something physical that is perceived by an individual and becomes an agent for psychological identification
The END result applies to a more individually determined wish or need. His constant object is the achievement of Eternal life. (Cessation of a course of action, pursuit, or activity, DEATH, DESTRUCTION to the ultimate state of mind of this world hold on you is the RESULT, and the ISSUE).
The Spirit of Christ OBJECTIVE implies something tangible and immediately attainable. His objective is to seize your heart. real · substantial · concrete · visible · noticeable
(a strategic position to be attained or a purpose to be achieved by a military operation required for warfare not available in adequate quantities naturally.
God’s Goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship. He worked years to reach HIS Goal, which was the terminal point of His race and will be ours.
Let them, they must die
These are harsh words, if we heard them in this day and time. Yet we hear these words throughout the scriptures, to identify, who God is, what Gods plan for your life is, and what will happen in the process.
Let me further make this statement. We talk about who God is but never about who He isn’t, Is. Because He is all things. You will not get this without the spirit of God in you.
1 Corinthians 2:14.
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.” There is no one saved who isn’t being called forth into transformation. God’s plan for his children is that they would conform to the image of the Matchless One, his Son, Jesus Christ. Christ is speaking of both himself and his followers.
Point to Ponder...The issue to today is that we think singular. The body is one body with many member right? Therefore the body of Christ is ONE BODY mand up of many members.
As it pertains to Christ, what he is in his human form is as this kernel of wheat. In order to bear fruit and “produce many seeds,” he must cease to be a kernel of wheat, but morph into what that seed is destined to become. In the case of wheat, it is a plant with many seeds. In the case of Christ, it is a glorified Christ and his body the Church, animated by his Holy Spirit sent by Jesus from his place at the right hand of the Father, to continue his ministry of preaching Good News to the world. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Christ produced millions of seeds by his death, which enabled sinners to come to God in repentance. His followers should also consider that they are seeds that must die in order to become what they too are destined for.
They must lose their life in following Jesus for his sake (Jn 11:25). Whatever you are to become in Christ can only come about if whatever you are, is allowed to die (Gal 2:20).
In my office I have several quotes. The one that stands out mostly is, “As a man thinketh in his heart to is he”. Mat 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, the kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Again, Jesus refers to the Kingdom of Heaven as being like a man who planted a seed. However, this lesson while very similar is very different than the previous lesson of the Parable of the Sower. Both are about a man; both are about seeds and both involve planting seed in the ground to grow something.
Jesus said the Kingdom of God is like a man that plants “One” seed and it grows into a massive tree in a field. Jesus is referring to a specific seed and qualifies it to be a “mustard” seed. Any time you qualify a noun you limit the scope of the noun and narrow the meaning.
God selected a specific seed to accomplish His plan and we will soon discover that Jesus was this seed: Mat 13:32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
What is it about this particular seed? Jesus must be referring to something else, a symbolic characteristic and not a physical attribute of the seed. What we should learn from this verse is that most great things have very humble beginnings. It is the classic analogy of the fact that the greatest oak trees come from little acorns.
In John 12:24, Jesus says that a kernel of corn (a seed) will be alone if it does not die. I believe that God is trying to teach us that the Seed of Jesus has been planted to produce more people in the world like Jesus. This is just a basic typology of how the seed produces more of itself in the earth. Just ONE little seed planted can produce a huge harvest over time. Let me show you some prophetic verses in the O.T. concerning Jesus:
Jerm. 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
We can read the Bible without studying and totally miss what is said. In this verse if you do not look up the definition of the key words you will breeze right over what God is trying to teach you about. The Key word that I want to look at is “Branch”. It is qualified to be a righteous Branch so we know this is Jesus. The Hebrew word “Branch” in this verse is a word that mean “sprouts”, “springs up”, “buds”. These are all “SEED” concept words. You plant a righteous seed and you get a righteous harvest. That is what God is attempting to get you to see. The coming Messiah was a SEED man! Let me show you another verse of prophecy about this seed of God: Ezel. 34:29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. God is saying I will “raise up” a “PLANT” of character. This word for “Plant” in the Hebrew means something that is planted in a garden. Sure, sounds like a seed to me, how about you?
Let peruse the word Die, before we move on.
Romans 14:8 NIV
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 8:13 NIV For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 6:23 NIV For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Revelation 21:4 NIV 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
John 3:16 NIV For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 11:25-26 NIV Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" Not long before his own death on the cross, Jesus hears that his friend, Lazarus, had died in Bethany. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, which creates quite the commotion in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Because of this, some of the Pharisees who didn’t believe in Jesus made plans to have him killed (John 11:1-54). Jesus knew he had died.
It was imperative that he did die.
Let them die….
In the story of Lazarus, Jesus speaks one of the most powerful messages ever: "Whoever believes in Jesus Christ, receives spiritual life that even physical death can never take away." As a result of this incredible miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead, many people believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in Christ. Through it, Jesus showed the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death. It is absolutely essential to our faith as Christians that we believe in the resurrection of the dead. Jesus revealed his compassion for people through a genuine display of emotion. Even though he knew that Lazarus would live, he was still moved to weep with the ones he loved. Jesus cared about their sorrow. He was not timid to show emotion, and we should not be ashamed to express our true feelings to God. Like Martha and Mary, we can be transparent with God because he cares for us.
Jesus waited to travel to Bethany because he knew already that Lazarus would be dead and that he would perform an amazing miracle there, for the glory of God. Many times, we wait for the Lord in the midst of a terrible situation and wonder why he doesn't respond more quickly. Often God allows our situation to go from bad to worse because he's planning to do something powerful and wonderful; he has a purpose that will bring even greater glory to God.
Why He is the True Vine for our salvation.
To clear up any misunderstanding on the disciples’ part, Jesus tells the disciples that Lazarus has died and that his death, while evil in itself, will be used to bring about good for the disciples. Lazarus’ death, Jesus says, will provide an opportunity for the disciples to grow in their faith (vv. 14–15). And this is the case because Jesus is going to resurrect Lazarus, giving them a sign that will confirm their faith and sustain them in grace. This, in turn, helps us see one of the purposes that our Creator has for allowing us to experience grief and suffering. Pain, while in itself not a good thing, is a means through which the Lord works for the final good of our redemption. “When God permits us to be overwhelmed with distresses, and to languish long under them, let us know that, in this manner, he promotes our salvation.”
“I am the True Vine” (John 15:1) is the last of seven “I am” declarations of Jesus recorded only in John’s Gospel. These “I am” proclamations point to His unique divine identity and purpose. Jesus said, “I am the True Vine” to closest friends gathered around Him. It was only a short time before Judas would betray Him; in fact, Judas had already left to do his infamous deed (John 13:30). Jesus was preparing the eleven men left for His pending crucifixion, His resurrection, and His subsequent departure for heaven. He had just told them that He would be leaving them (John 14:2). Knowing how disturbed they would feel, He gave them this lovely metaphor of the True Vine as one of His encouragements.
Jesus wanted His friends, not only those eleven, but those of all time, to know that He was not going to desert them, even though they would no longer enjoy His physical presence. His living energy—His spiritual reality—would continue to nourish and sustain them just as the roots and trunk of a grape vine produce the energy that nourishes and sustains its branches while they develop their fruit. Jesus wanted us to know that, even though we cannot see Him, we are as closely connected to Him as the branches of a vine are connected to its stem. Our desire to know and love Him and the energy to serve Him will keep flowing into and through us as long as we “abide” in Him.
Jesus went on to remove any misunderstanding about what He meant (John 15:4).
He said that no branch can even live, let alone produce leaves and fruit, by itself. Cut off from the trunk, a branch is dead. Just as a vine’s branches rely on being connected to the trunk from which they receive their energy to bear fruit, Jesus’ disciples depend on being connected to Him for their spiritual life and the ability to serve Him effectively. The fruit we produce is that of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).
Our source of life and spiritual fruit is not in ourselves; it is outside us, in Christ Jesus. We can live, and live righteous, and serve Him effectively only if we are rightly connected to Him in a faith/love relationship.
Do We see This paradigm shift in understanding? FAITH, LOVE RELATIONSHIP
Then Jesus underscored His point even more strongly by saying, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). This illustration of the vine and branches is no thoughtless generality or careless simile. It is absolute, stark reality. No believer can achieve anything of spiritual value independently of Christ Jesus. He also reminds us that there are some who are “in” Him who bear no fruit. But these are not, as some would suppose, true branches that just happen to be fruitless. All true branches bear fruit. Just as we know a healthy, living tree by the good fruit it produces, so do we recognize fruitless branches as having no connection to the True Vine. This is why Jesus tells us, “By their fruit you will know them” (Matthew 7:16–20). Those who do not produce good fruit are cut away and burned. (Let them die) The reference here is to apostates, (renounce a religious belief) those who profess to know Christ but whose relationship to Him is insincere. He neither called them nor elected them nor saved them nor sustains them. Eventually, the fruitless branches are identified as not belonging to the Vine and are removed for the sake of truth and the benefit of the other branches.
So, we depend on Jesus for everything, starting with our very life— “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)—and including our reconciliation with God through Him (Romans 5:10). No one can serve God effectively until he is connected with Jesus Christ by faith. Jesus is our only connection with the God who gave life and who produces in us a fruitful life of righteousness and service.
He is the Great I AM:
Here are the seven metaphorical “I am” statements found in John’s gospel:
“I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51). In this chapter, Jesus establishes a pattern that continues through John’s gospel—Jesus makes a statement about who He is, and He backs it up with something He does. In this case, Jesus states that He is the bread of life just after He had fed the 5,000 in the wilderness. At the same time, He contrasts what He can do with what Moses had done for their ancestors: “Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die” (verses 49–50).
“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). This second of Jesus’ “I am” statements in John’s gospel comes right before He heals a man born blind. Jesus not only says He is the light; He proves it. Jesus’ words and actions echo Genesis 1:3, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
“I am the door” (John 10:7 and 9, ESV). This “I am” statement stresses that no one can enter the kingdom of heaven by any other means than Christ Himself. Jesus’ words in this passage are couched in the imagery of a sheepfold. He is the one and only way to enter the fold. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber”.
“I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14). With this “I am” statement, Jesus portrays His great love and care. He is the One who willingly protects His flock even to the point of death (verses 11 and 15). When Jesus called Himself the good shepherd, He unmistakably took for Himself one of God’s titles in the Old Testament: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1).
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus made this “I am” statement immediately before raising Lazarus from the dead. Again, we see that Jesus’ teaching was not just empty talk; when He made a claim, He substantiated it with action. He holds “the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:18, NLT). In raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus showed how He can fulfill Yahweh’s promise to ancient Israel: “[God’s] dead shall live; their bodies shall rise” (Isaiah 26:19, ESV). Apart from Jesus, there is neither resurrection nor eternal life.
“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). This powerful “I am” statement of Christ’s is packed with meaning. Jesus is not merely one way among many ways to God; He is the only way. Scripture said that “The very essence of [God’s] words is truth” (Psalm 119:160, NLT), and here is Jesus proclaiming that He is the truth—confirming His identity as the Word of God (see John 1:1, 14). And Jesus alone is the source of life; He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life and the Giver of eternal life.
“I am the true vine” (John 15:1, 5). The final metaphorical “I am” statement in the Gospel of John emphasizes the sustaining power of Christ. We are the branches, and He is the vine. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit unless it is joined in vital union with the vine, only those who are joined to Christ and receive their power from Him produce fruit in the Christian life.
There are two more “I am” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. These are not metaphors; rather, they are declarations of God’s name, as applied by Jesus to Himself. The first instance comes as Jesus responds to a complaint by the Pharisees. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus says, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). The verbs Jesus uses are in stark contrast with each other: Abraham was, but I am. There is no doubt that the Jews understood Jesus’ claim to be the eternal God incarnate, because they took up stones to kill Him (verse 59).
The second instance of Jesus applying to Himself the name I AM comes in the Garden of Gethsemane. When the mob came to arrest Jesus, He asked them whom they sought. They said, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and Jesus replied, “I am he” (John 18:4–5). Then something strange happened: “When Jesus said, ‘I am he,’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (verse 6). Perhaps explaining the mob’s reaction is the fact that the word he has been provided by our English translators. Jesus simply said, “I am.” Applying God’s covenant name to Himself, Jesus demonstrated His power over His foes and showed that His surrender to them was entirely voluntary (see John 10:17–18; 19:11).
Meditate upon His word day and night and do all that is written therein.