A meditation on death

by Bishop Nikolay Velimirovic

About the necessity of death in order to reap a great harvest, the Lord says:

"I tell you the truth; a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, then it produces many grains." (John, 12:24)

Why does a sower throw grain in the ground? Is it because he wishes it to die and decay: No, it is because he wishes it to live and bring forth much harvest. A sower, sowing the seed, does not even think of death and decay of the seed, but thinks of life and harvest. Truly, it is with joy that the sower saws his seed, thinking not of death, but of life and harvest.

The sower is the Lord Jesus and people are His wheat. He, Himself called us wheat. There are many seeds on this earth, but the most precious seed is wheat. Why did the Lord sow us on earth: Does He want us to die and decay? No, it is because He wants us to live and bring forth much harvest.

He mentions our death as only a by-the way matter, only as a condition for life and much harvest. The purpose of sowing is not death, but life. But the seed must first die and decay: and He only mentions this because He knows that we all know this only too well. He briefly reminds us of this while the rest of His Gospel or EVANGELIE (Greek for good news) speaks extensively, because He knows of our ignorance about this and He knows that we are suffocating with doubt and lack of knowledge. Not only does He speak extensively of life, but He demonstrates life for us. By His resurrection, He shows us life and harvest, more clearly than we can see the sun. And the whole history of His Church is like a clear map of life.

O Lord of life irrepressible, save us from the death in sin. Save us from the spiritual death. To you Glory and gratitude for ever. Amen.

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