Life Through Death

Gospel of John #31: an exposition John 12:20-26. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 24, 2011.

I’ve always like the short stories of O’Henry.  I love the surprise ending.  You’re reading along, convinced that you have it all figured out.  You know exactly where this story is heading.  You saw it coming from a mile away and as you are patting yourself on the back you turn the page and…wait a minute!  How did that happen?  You couldn’t have been wrong.  After experiencing the ending you look back and wonder how you could have missed it.  The ending did not “come out of nowhere.”  This is where the story was heading all along.  The problem was your reading into the story elements that weren’t there.  The author had not miss led you.  Your conclusions, your bias, your speculations miss led you.  That’s how it was for the followers of Jesus as they sat dumbfounded by Jesus’ grand announcement during the last week of his earthly life and ministry.  They were so certain they knew were all this was heading.  They were certain they knew the end of the story.  Boy, were they ever surprised.  Our text this morning is found in the 12th chapter of John’s Gospel.

Text: John 12:20-26
John tells us that there are many other things he could have told us.  There were other things that Jesus said and did that could have been written but these things are written that you might know that Jesus is the Christ and that you might have life by believing in His name.  His purpose is to bring you to saving faith.  He wants you to know who Jesus is and he wants you to put your faith and trust in Him.

47% of his Gospel is taken up with the events of the last week, the week of Passion.
John began this section with the “Triumphal Entry.”
That bold, dramatic, deliberate statement that He is the Messiah.
The religious establishment is determined to kill Him.
They’ve made it clear, they are not hiding anything.
Why such a public spectacle?
Why such an antagonistic move?
His time had come.
The time set by His Father in eternity past.
The time of redemption.
He entered Jerusalem at Passover as the Lamb of God on His way to the altar.

John tells us about an event that signaled the time had come.
As the story unfolds I want you to understand that…

Thesis: God’s eternal plan and program shatters the preconceived notions of man-centered religion.
His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts.  You cannot put God in a box.  He just will not fit.  I don’t care what size box or what shape.  He will not conform to your way of thinking.

I want you to see three shocking revelations about God’s economy, God’s way of doing things.

  • In God’s economy death produces life.  (12:20-24)
  • In God’s economy losing your life enables you to keep it.  (12:25)
  • In God’s economy service is the path to greatness.  (12:26)
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