The Move of God in Man, by Witness Lee


Now we need to consider how we can prove that when Christ was suffering death on the cross, God was busy there. Colossians 2:14 says that when Christ was being crucified on the cross, God was wiping out the handwriting in ordinances, which was against us, contrary to us, nailing it to the cross. Verse 15 says that He also stripped off the rulers and the authorities and made a display of them openly, triumphing over them in the cross.

When Christ was suffering death on the cross, God was busy. He was busy in wiping out the handwriting in ordinances by nailing it to the cross. The handwriting in ordinances refers to the law. If you still love the law, what you love was nailed to the cross. Ephesians 2:15 says that Christ abolished in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances. While Christ was suffering in being nailed to the cross, God was also busy nailing the law there.

While Christ was being crucified, the evil angels came in to frustrate God, and there was a struggle between them. There was a group of evil angels who came to frustrate God from working on the cross, so God stripped them off and made a display of them openly. Stripping off in Colossians 2:15 also means putting off, as the putting off of the old man mentioned in 3:9. On the cross God was nailing the law and He was putting off many evil angels. He was busy on the cross according to the invisible scene. This is the intrinsic significance and understanding of the Lord’s death. We must have the spiritual eyes, the heavenly view, to see an invisible scene every day.


Now we need to ask what was accomplished on the cross. We have to answer this question intrinsically. First, Christ took away the sin of the world for God’s eternal redemption. Sin in John 1:29 is a total term, including the sin within in our nature and the sins without in our conduct. Hebrews 9:26 says that Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and then verse 28 says that He was once offered to bear the sins of many. These verses refer to sin (singular) and to sins (plural). Sin does have these two aspects: the inward aspect, the sin in our nature, and the outward aspect, the sin in our conduct.

In our preaching of the gospel, to some extent, we should make this clear to our contacts. Even if you think you have no sins in your conduct, you are still sinful because in your nature you have sin. Sin is a factor of your constitution, your being. Your being, your person, has been constituted a sinner with sin. As an illustration, we call a certain drink orange juice because this juice is constituted with oranges. The orange is the essence, the nature, of this juice. In the same way, we are sinners by constitution, not by transgressions. In our constitution we are sinners. A newborn babe is a sinner because within him there is the constituting factor, the essence, of sin (Psa. 51:5). Sin is the essence of our natural constitution, so we are sinners.

(The Move of God in Man, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)