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)”
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Son of God came to die. Never forget that. Jesus did lots of amazing things, such as healing the blind and deaf and sick, walking on water, feeding thousands with just a little food, raising the dead and so on. But the thing He came to do most is to give His life on the Cross for sinners.
As He approached the day of His suffering and death, some people came along who wanted to meet Him. But He told His disciples that His job is not to preach and teach to everybody. He did do that, but to focus attention on His going to die. Now it was no longer time for people to meet and greet Jesus. Now it was time for Him to go and suffer and take away the sins of the world by His death.
So what about those Greeks who wanted to meet Jesus? Are they out of luck? Too bad they didn’t come earlier or come with a backstage pass! No, they would meet Jesus but now it would be in His Church, where His saving death and death-conquering resurrection were preached as the basis for repentance and the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus came to accomplish our salvation and He did that. But He did not come to deliver it. That work is done by Jesus along with His preachers in His Church to the ends of the earth. Jesus died for you. But because you haven’t seen Him with your eyes doesn’t mean it’s not for you! On the contrary, that salvation is entirely yours by the waters of Holy Baptism, the preaching of the Word and the Supper of His Body and Blood.
The Cross is the center of our faith—not in itself but because what happened upon it is our salvation. Its fruits flow forth, in the blood and water from Jesus’ side, to the font and cup which save you. And that death of Jesus, on a cross, means that much grain grows up. For the preaching of Christ crucified to the ends of the earth brings in a harvest of people who are saved and brought into the Lord’s Church. He dies on the Cross and now you have life! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Ev’ry wound that pains or grieves me By Your wounds, Lord is made whole; When I’m faint, Your cross revives me, Granting new life to my soul. Yes, Your comfort renders sweet Ev’ry bitter cup I meet; For Your all atoning passion Has procured my soul’s salvation. (Jesus, Grant That Balm and Healing, LSB 421:4)