Did Jesus have to die in order for his mission to be carried on after his death? Yes! As John said in his Gospel:
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24 Very truly I tell you, 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 “seed” Jesus is talking about here is an illustration for his own life. He knows that in order to carry out his mission, he must take the road to the cross. Unless he’s willing to be that seed that submits to death and burial, he cannot grow the Kingdom of Heaven. When we participate in self-denial, then we can be sure we are truly following Jesus, that the Seed who died produces fruit through us - a yield for his Kingdom. So as we prepare ourselves for the coming Easter celebration, let’s not let this season of suffering pass us by without pausing to consider how we too can take up the cross.