Before His death, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to die. He was the “kernel of wheat” that had to die so that He could produce many seeds of new life.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, 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. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:23-25.
But still, put yourself in the place of those disciples on Saturday. Their master, teacher, and friend has died. The vision they had for how He would save Israel didn’t work out. They believed He was sent from God, was the Son of God, but then they saw His dead body on the cross. Sometimes we doubt what we know because what we see seems so much more real. And so they doubted and were sad. When we celebrate Good Friday, we know that the resurrection is just around the corner because for us it is history. But to the disciples on that dark Saturday, it was only a promise they couldn’t quite comprehend or fully understand.
I can relate to the disciples right now. Recently my local church, as I have known it for many years, ceased to be. Like the kernel of wheat, it has fallen to the ground. I know that God is in control and that He has promised that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28. I know He has a plan, but still I doubt and I am sad. I can see that in the two churches that have grown from the single kernel, God is working. There are actually more people worshipping at the two combined churches than worshipped last year at the one church. I can see that it has led to new and renewed friendships, and to greater reliance on God. And as far as I can tell it’s still only Saturday. Soon it will be Sunday and we will all see what God has done.
From God’s perspective it is all history, even tomorrow, because He transcends time as we experience it. He sees the final tapestry of His creation. We see only the unfinished work of His hand. We are like the disciples on Saturday. We believe and we know that God is great! But still we doubt, we fear, we feel sadness and pain over what seems a hopeless situation. What we see seems so much more real than what we hope for.
But still we hope. Because even though it is Saturday, we know and we trust that Sunday’s coming!