the paradox of promotion – pt.4
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds onto life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”
-Jesus (John 12:24-25 The Message)
If you have read the first three posts, you might be thinking…”I don’t get it…things seem to be getting worse…where is the promotion?” – That is the paradox…the apparent contradiction! Keep going – keep reading…let the Holy Spirit speak to you heart.
The Grave Place
The second death. Adam died the first death in disobedience in the garden resulting in separation from God and banishment from the garden. Christ died the second death in absolute obedience resulting in the reconciliation of the world back to the Father and citizenship to His kingdom.
This is the place of change. Everything changed when Christ was in the grave!
I oftentimes liken the grave to the secret place. The secret place is secret because it is your place to meet with God and deal with you. The grave to me is the place of change or transformation.
Think about the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The caterpillar creates a grave-like place, a cocoon, in which the old dies and the new is formed. We need a grave-like place, a secret place in which the old man dies and the new man is formed.
The writer of Romans articulated this incredible need to be buried with Christ when he said,
“How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death” (Romans 6:2-4 NKJV).
We are to deal with the sinful nature of the flesh by burying it through baptism into death. Keep in mind this is the paradox of promotion. These truths are not always easy to follow because they are so contrary to the fleshly nature.
Yet more food for thought: if I do not bury the old man can a new man rise? Jesus went to the grave, and so should we.