This was after he rode into Jerusalem, the city named for shalom~ so much more than peace, but completeness, wholeness, everything-made-right-ness~ on the back of a young donkey. This was after the women and men and children stood waiting for their Savior, eyes turned upward and palm leaves laid down in expectation. This was after a meal with his closest friends, the one where Mary slowly poured precious oil on his feet, the strong fragrance permeating every corner of the house. The friends could still catch a faint whiff of the scent, days later.
Jesus replied to them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop.The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me. Where I am, there My servant also will be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.
“Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name!” (John 12:23-28)
He said this knowing what was before him. He said this before the final meal, the one where he would tenderly and in turn, wash each one of their feet. He said this before the night of agony, the dark night among trees that he had created, the dark night where the others fell asleep while he pleaded with his Father. This was before the arrest, the mockery of a trial, the death sentence.
This was all before the grain of wheat would fall, would break and die. This was all before the seed would go into the ground.