Jesus’ death on the cross is like a grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies.
Surprisingly, the dying grain, by dying, bears much fruit. What appears to be death in this world becomes resurrection to new life.
Jesus wants His disciples to understand their crucial role in carrying on His work. He wants them to know life comes to us through our self-denial — that only in spending life do we retain life and that only by selfless service comes true greatness.
The cross has always been a symbol of death. In Christ, the cross has become the most profound symbol of life.