Chapter 12 of the Gospel of John is written within the context of the feast of the Passover. The symbolism is obvious. Jesus, like the lamb, will be slain and whoever applied the blood of Jesus to their lives will be spared from the destroying Angel. What does it mean to apply the blood of Jesus, to our lives? It simply means that Jesus died for you. His death sentence was your death sentence. He was sentenced to death for crimes that you committed. He died horribly on the cross of Calvary for your crimes, so that you would not
In John 3 Jesus says unless a man is born again he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. In John 12:25 Jesus says, He who loves his life will lose it and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me, and where I am, there my servant will be also. If anyone serves me, him my Father will honor. And so in order to live eternally, in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus says that we must die and then be born-again. Mat 10:39 He who finds his life shall lose it. And he who loses his life for My sake shall find it.
Let me ask you something, and be honest, when did you die? Can you remember dying and being born-again? Now, I am not talking about stepping forward and signing the pledge in some Sunday school class when you were six. I am asking you when you died? To die to the world is a wrenching experience, but it is an experience. If you came forward in some service so many vague years ago and took out some fire insurance against the infernos of hell then you probably cannot relate to this dying. The question is when did you die to the world?
Jesus says If anyone serves me, let him follow me and where I am, there my servant will be also. Here is a vital point and a seeming paradox. Now we know Jesus is God and one of the attributes of God is that He is omnipresent. He is everywhere in all places at all times. One of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 139.
..Psa 139:7 Where shall I go from Your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence? If I go up into Heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the furthest parts of the sea; even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
What a glorious promise and confirmation that no matter where you are or what your state may be, God is always there. So how can Jesus say, and what doe He mean when He tells people to come to Him? Should He not have said where they are, there I will be? Yet He says Where I am, they will be. There is no contradiction between God being omnipresent and Jesus telling us to come to Him. One is the presence of God and the other is the manifest , conscious presence of God. God is everywhere in this world yet the world dwells in darkness. No matter, for even the darkness is light to our God in whom there is no darkness.
God is everywhere in this universe because God contains it, it does not contain Him. Not only this universe, but everything that exists, no matter how many light years away are all contained by God. This illustration has been used many times but it bears repeating. Imagine a five gallon bucket that has been lowered into the Atlantic several hundred feet down. All of space and time is in the bucket, God is the Atlantic. So, God is everywhere on this planet and there is nowhere that you can go that He is not there. Yet, God says Come to me. Come to me all you that labor and are heavy laden.(Matt11:28) If anyone thirsts, let him come unto me and drink. (John 7:37)
Movement is required by us. He says that He stands at the door and knocks, we must move towards the door and open it. Yet to open the door is to die. To open this door is to cross the river, to enter into the promised land. If you heed this call and open this door you will find the brazen alter and upon that alter you must sacrifice your life, your ambition, your sin, you must be willing to do this. This is the act of hoisting the Lord Jesus up high and stepping into the river, not once it has dried up, not once all your problems have been taken care of, not once you have arrived, not once you are financially secure, but while the river is swollen and overflowing and it looks like an impossibility to be able to cross.Jesus says , yes, in the natural it is impossible, but if you will trust me and be obedient and put aside your fears and simply step out onto the river, then you will see the impossible become possible, the natural become the supernatural.
God cannot be fooled, He responds every time to a willing heart. This is the initial death. It is real and it is unmistakable and it changes everything and it sets you on the narrow path of life. Once you have given over your life to God, once He is your lord and not simply your Saviour, then and only then can the walls of Jericho come down. You see in the desert He was simply your Saviour. It is only when you make Him your Lord that you truly die. When He is only your Saviour, your fire insurance, then the mark of your life will be un-belief and disobedience. When He becomes your Lord, then and only then do you die the death that is required and only then can you come out of the desert and cross the river into the promised land.
In the promised land you will die to your flesh daily. You will pick up your cross daily. You will lose some battles, yes, but be of good cheer for this is the promised land, it is yours already. So you will lose some battles, you may even have just lost a battle as you read this yet in this world, beyond the door, beyond the desert, beyond the river and past the walls of Jericho lies victory, its already won. Your victory lies in your encounters, conscious encounters with Christ Himself. How was it that Joshua figured out how to defeat Jericho? Did not the Lord Himself instruct him?
If you read this and know nothing of death. If the only thing that you ever did was come forward at a service and make the pledge, you are in great danger. Death is required and out of death is born a new creature and behold all things are new. This is not a philosophy or a theory or theology, this is real and you will know it. If you came forward and nothing happened, you went on about your business just as before, only now you believe that you have insurance against the flames of hell, you are sadly mistaken. You must strive until you have your breakthrough. You will know it when it comes. You will have a hunger for the Word of God.
You will have a desire to fellowship with other believers, you will have a thirst for His presence, a desire to know Him more deeply, a joy in worship. You will have a desire to please Him, and you will have an adversity to all things that displease Him. If you have none of the above then you need to examine yourself and see if you are in the faith. I am not talking about saints who are going through dry spells and so on, I am talking about people who have never experienced any of the above.
If you came forward and did not experience any of the changes mentioned, what likely happened is that you have taken the first step in coming to Him. He continues to call out. Will you pursue Him? Will you give all that you have in order to have this great treasure? Or, will you continue to wander in the desert, too afraid to cross into the promised land. Too afraid to walk through that door. That door has the Blood of the Lamb on the lintel and on the posts. Jesus is the living door and all who walk through that door and come to Him, will be saved and not destroyed and death will Passover then and they will live eternally.