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Renaissance in Jesus

Today's Devotional

Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24

We know Leonardo da Vinci as the renaissance man. His intellectual prowess led to advances across multiple fields of study and the arts. Yet Leonardo journaled of “these miserable days of ours” and lamented that we die “without leaving behind any memory of ourselves in the mind of men.”

“While I thought I was learning how to live,” said Leonardo, “I was learning how to die.” He was closer to the truth than he may have realized. Learning how to die is the way to life. After Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (what we now celebrate as Palm Sunday; see John 12:12–19), He said, “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (v. 24). He spoke this about His own death but expanded it to include us all: “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (v. 25).

The apostle Paul wrote of being “buried” with Christ “through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:4–5).

Through His death, Jesus offers us rebirth—the very meaning of renaissance. He has forged the way to eternal life with His Father.

How do you measure the value of your life? How might you need to change those values?

Dear Father, I can find meaning and purpose nowhere else but in You.


In the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), Jesus predicted His death at least three times. The first prediction followed Peter’s declaration of Jesus as the Messiah (reported in Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-32; Luke 9:21-22). The second and third instances are found in Matthew 17:22-23; 20:17-19; Mark 9:30-32; 10:32-34; and Luke 9:43-45; 18:31-34. These gospels all record Christ explicitly saying that He would die at the hand of the teachers of the law and would rise three days later.

The predictions in John’s gospel, however, are more subtle (12:7-8; 13:33; 14:25-29). In John 12:23-36, Christ’s death is predicted in somewhat poetic language. Jesus said that “the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (v. 23) and that seeds need to die to produce more grain (v. 24). Each of the gospel writers recorded their stories for a deliberate purpose and to serve an intentional end.

By |2024-03-24T02:33:13-04:00March 24th, 2024|
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