Summary: Jesus in His last public sermon shares some paradoxes of life we need to grasp.
• SLIDE #1
• Over the next seven weeks leading up to Easter together we are going follow the teachings of Jesus that took place during the final week of His life.
• For context earlier in chapter 12 we have the triumphal entry into Jerusalem which marks the beginning of the last week of Jesus life.
• The crowds were following Jesus in great numbers in part because of the raising of Lazarus (verse 17). Jesus is going to take this opportunity to give what is basically His last public sermon.
• Jesus knows this is His last week on earth, He knows He is going to be betrayed, beaten, crucified and will die by weeks end.
• When you drop down to verse 27 Jesus admits that His soul is troubled over the coming events but He knows it was for this purpose that He came in the first place.
• Since Jesus knows this will be His final week through His preaching, teaching and example Jesus will take His disciples into some deeper water. He is going to make them dive into the deep end of the pool now.
• The subjects and issues Jesus will teach and preach about are important enough for Him to use some of the precious time He has left to impart these things to us.
• The title to the message this morning is Paradoxes of Life. What is a Paradox?
• The dictionary defines the word as follows: a statement, proposition, or situation that seems to be absurd or contradictory, but in fact is or may be true.
• In verses 24-26 Jesus is going to share three important paradoxes pertaining to life.
• Let us begin with verse 24.
• SLIDE #2
• John 12:24 (ESV) 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.
• In this verse we see the first paradox that Jesus is trying to get across to the crowd.
• SLIDE #3
I. Death can produce life. V24
• Jesus is trying to let the folks know that His time is short; He is not going to be the type Messiah they were looking for.
• In verses 27-34 Jesus speaks of His impending departure.
• When you drop down to verse 34 you see the crowd is confused because they are looking for an earthly Messiah.
• SLIDE #4
• John 12:34 (ESV) So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
• The paradox alluded to in this verse is the fact that death can produce life.
• Jesus uses the example of a grain of wheat. For it to produce fruit it has to be put in the ground and it has to die in order for it to produce fruit.
• Jesus in the context is speaking of Himself and how His death and subsequent resurrection will be a fruitful event for all who will follow Him.
• Jesus must die giving his life to bring new life to mankind.
• When a seed dies, it produces fruit. Life comes by death. This principle is true not only in nature, but it is also true spiritually.
• When you think about this paradox in reference to our spiritual life, we must die in Christ in order for us to become fruitful spiritually.
• When we are separated from God because of our sin, we need to be born again. The old self needs to die.
• A couple of weeks ago we examined this thought a bit.
• SLIDE #5
• Romans 6:5–7 (ESV) 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
• This is spoken in the context of one who has been baptized in to Christ.
• When we are immersed into Christ our old body of sin is crucified. This death frees us from the bondage of sin.
• Before this “death” happens, we were enslaved to sin; it always had its hooks into us. We were somewhat helpless in its grip.
• Even when we look at this life, when it is over many believe it is all over. Death in truth is the gateway to eternal life.