Now I want to turn to Joh_12:24-26. Notice these words. Remember the two shadows over these words. The Master is within a week, yes, a week of the Cross. The inky black shadow of Calvary is blacker across His path now than it has been yet up to this time.
And here come the Greeks. It is the Greeks that give us this chapter. Here come the Greeks, the splendid Greek nation. The Jews reject. But now the Greeks come; splendid Greeks! And through the Greek door the Master may go to the whole Greek world, and to the whole world through the Greeks. It is a wide open door to the world. And Satan, who left our Master in the wilderness only for a season, is coming back here with the temptation of a world dominion without suffering.
But the Master stops, and He says, “the shortest road to Greece, and through Greece to a world, is not across seas here to the west; that is not the shortest way; the way these men came perhaps; it is not around beyond Antioch through Asia Minor as the caravans might come; the shortest road to Greece, and through Greece to a world, is the road down into and through Joseph’s tomb! That’s the shortest cut that can be.”
Now listen to Him: “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die it abideth alone.” The non- sacrificial life is always a lonely life. Those poor lone souls that do not know the blessedness of sacrifice! But if it die the grain becomes a handful, a harvestful of golden grain to feed a world. Now listen to the irony of selfishness; he that loveth his life shall lose it. He that is bent on clutching with feverish fingers his life and holding it for himself, will find only a husk in his hand, the whole inner heart gone. He that puts love of himself above all else shall find himself losing the one thing he is trying tohold. That's the irony of the devil's path.
“He that hateth his life,” mark you, that, in the stress of life, in the competition of life, in the need of life says, “I will put myself aside as a hated, hindering thing that I may give myself for others,” . . . “He that hateth his life for others’ sake shall find it,” and many another, too. The thing that you try to get you lose. The thing you don’t think about as you go eagerly out for the crowd, you will find somebody else—a blessed Somebody else—thinking about, and caring for for you, and giving you not the lonely life but the abundant, the accompanied life, “If any man would serve Me,” He says, “let him follow Me.”
That is the secondary meaning to us in our Lord’s Calvary; going along after Him. All the leaders of the Church of Christ have known this truth, aye, others besides the leaders, have known this truth woven into the tissues of their lives. The young Hebrew Joseph did; David did. I have no doubt that the Fifty- third of Isaiah had a real meaning, historically, in Isaiah’s life. I have no doubt the Twenty-second Psalm had a very real meaning in David’s life. And Jeremiah, and Hosea, and the leaders in the Book whose names stand out,—I could call a list of names, every man of whom had travelled the underground route to life. “If a grain of wheat fall into the ground”; the underground road is the only pathway into life for us abundantly, and through us for all the world.