And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” — John 12:23-25
We tend to be pretty scared of death. Many people worry about how their life will end. And that’s the fear – coming to the end. From a physical perspective, death is a pretty scary thing. Endings usually are.
Jesus said that someone who loves their life will lose it. I think this is more than being willing to die physically. I believe Jesus is talking about a spiritual sort of death, where death is brought to the things that stand between His life living in us. Selfishness, self-centeredness, pride, jealousy, fear, worry. Living by His life will bring these things to their end.
And here is the beauty of this kind of death: it is not an end, but a beginning. Each time a piece of our fallen self dies, a new life sets forth. Christ’s life is expressed more fully in and through us. Christ Himself is the fruit of our dying.
We die to ourselves by putting on Christ. We put on Christ when we live by His indwelling life. The focus is not on the dying, but on Him!
21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Ephesians 4:21-24
Jesus Christ is our new nature!