You used to be a star! No, really, you used to be a star, an actual star that shines in the night sky. When a star dies, it produces carbon and oxygen. The carbon and oxygen from the Super Nova creates new life. A human life needs both carbon and oxygen to form. So, a star died to give you life.
Death Brings Life
Shortly before Jesus was crucified and physically killed, he told his disciples:
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:14)
In this statement, he is telling his followers that he is about to die but, like a kernel of wheat, a seed or a star, this death is part of a cycle that will actually produce more life.
Jesus’ Death Produces Spiritual Life
Jesus died to give us life, to plant in us the seed of this new kind of life, spiritual life; life that does not end with our physical death. Spiritual life is necessary to understand God’s Word as recorded in the Bible. The physical words written in black ink on the page have no power, but the Spirit helps us translate those words so we can understand God’s character and power. The help we receive from the Holy Spirit makes the words powerful beyond our imagining. Although we read and understand the words, we cannot understand the power and the truth in the Bible unless we have asked the Spirit to come into our lives.
In John 16:5-15 we learn that Jesus had to die for us to receive the Spirit.
“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”
Just as carbon and oxygen are crucial elements for the formation of life, a life enriched by the Spirit is crucial for producing the elements that we call the fruit of the Spirit. Unless we have received this new type of life that Jesus gives, we cannot produce spiritual life. As we learn to live our lives out of this truth instead of the lies the world tells us, we become life-giving, life-producing people. We get to encourage others to live in the spiritual life that God gave us through the death of his son, Jesus. Paul, one of Jesus’ disciples, calls the results of the growth of spiritual life the “fruit of the Spirit.” We can tell that our spiritual life is growing and producing when we see the fruit in our lives. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control become evidence of the Spirit living in us.