I’m not an apologist. I don’t know all the arguments for the evidence that the resurrection of Christ really happened. But I do know what happens to a seed when you push it into the earth.
Throughout the Bible the image of seeds, trees and plants are used to describe the life of a person in the family of God. In the gospels, Jesus uses the example of a grain of wheat being planted in the dirt as the metaphor for what must happen to all who believe in him (John 12:24). And in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul uses planting a seed in the ground as evidence that the resurrection is real.
Dead People Don’t Get Up, But Seeds Do
As a nurse I’ve been around dead people. To see one of them get up and walk, fully alive would be crazy. It just doesn’t happen. Growing up hearing the story of the resurrection of Christ, the thought that Jesus, fully dead, got up and walked out of a sealed tomb has become familiar. The story of this impossible, universe-shaking event has become as common to me as watching spring plants bloom every March. Christ’s resurrection doesn’t shake me like it would if one of my dead patients got up and walked home fully well.
I have to pray and intentionally approach the story of the resurrection of Christ with a desire to be awakened by it. I want to feel the wonder of the scandal of the resurrection of Christ. I want to respond with the joy and awe fitting for such an event.
One way I am helped in responding to the story of the resurrection of Christ, is by reading what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15. Here Paul defends the reality of the resurrection of Christ and the future resurrection of all who believe in him. He uses the imagery of a grain of wheat, dying in the ground and being raised to its new plant life, to help the skeptical and doubting people at the church in Corinth.
Most of us don’t notice the everyday occurrence of seeds becoming plants. The last time we were probably in awe of the miraculous transformation of a seed into a plant was in elementary school when we learn about the parts of a seed and how it germinates. But this very elementary lesson God uses as a message all around us teaching us the reality of resurrection life.
Jesus died. He died a brutal death. And it’s absolutely impossible for a dead man like Jesus to regain a beating heart, breathing lungs, a functioning brain and ambulating body. But in God’s economy it’s no more impossible than a seed in the ground breaking apart, “dying” and then sprouting through the soil into it’s glorious new body.
The resurrection of Jesus is the miraculous first germination of the new man. The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the new creation. The resurrected Jesus is the new body all our planted lives of faith in Christ will become. The resurrected Jesus is the new man we who believe in him are becoming. Though we die daily, we will live forever as the new planting of the Lord we were always meant to be.
We weren’t meant to be seeds only. Just like Jesus wasn’t meant to die only. We’re meant to be Holy-Spirit-fruit-bearing trees of the Lord.
So, dear one, next time you look outside and see all the things that live because a seed once “died” in the soil, think of Jesus and your future. One day you and I are going to blossom in the new life that is ours in Christ. Because he is alive, we will live too.
Response: Take time to meditate on what Christ has done for you and the reality of the resurrection by reading John 19-21 and 1 Corinthians 15. Then go outside. Look at all the life that has popped up out of the ground from seeds that died in the dirt. Pray that the Holy Spirit would increase your joy and hope in believing in the resurrection of Christ and your future resurrection.