KNOWING THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF CHRIST
We all know that Christ is the mystery of God and that the church is the mystery of Christ. What I desire to see is that all the churches would have a thorough understanding concerning Christ and the church. We who are in the church should not talk about anything else but Christ and the church from the beginning of the year till the end of the year. Our daily life should not be one that centers around morality or conduct. Our daily life should be one that emphasizes Christ living out from within us. What we talk about and pursue all day long should be our knowledge concerning Christ and the church. Our living is to live Christ and to build up His Body. Wherever we go, what the saints should do and say should be this one thing only. What is expressed in our living should be the living out of Christ for the building up of the church. This is glorious. This should have been the situation among us. But during the past few years, according to my observation, what we have been talking about was not Christ. What we have been living was not Christ, and what we have been pursuing was not Christ! May the Lord have mercy on us!
In the first message, we saw six points concerning Christ being the mystery of God: the Word in the beginning which was God, His becoming flesh, and His passing through human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. All these seem simple and familiar. But every one of these points is a mystery. I will only mention one of these items. For example, I can prove my point by fellowshipping with you concerning Christ’s death. Not only among us but also among common Christians in Christianity, the death of Christ is known, emphasized, and constantly brought into consideration. According to the revelation in the Bible, the death of Christ is all-inclusive and profound. When this Christ died on the cross, He bore at least seven statuses. When He died as one man, seven things were accomplished through His death. First, He is the Lamb of God who bore away the totality of our sin, that is, the inward sin and the outward sin, solving the problem of the singular sin and the plural sins, the root of sin and the fruits of sin. Second, He was a man in the flesh, condemning sin in the likeness of the flesh of sin, dealing with the evil nature of sin within us, which is the embodiment of Satan, and also taking care of the sin-poisoned body.
Third, He is the last Adam. In other words, He is the last man in the old creation. Adam was the first man, the head of the old creation. Christ is the last Adam, the end of the old creation. Before Adam, there was no man. After Christ, there also follows no other man. Christ died on the cross in this status and terminated us, the men in the old creation (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 2:20). Christ brought us along when He was crucified on the cross and dealt with our old man. Fourth, He is the Firstborn of all creation. He was crucified on behalf of all creation. By this He terminated the whole old creation, so that all created things are reconciled to God. Fifth, He is the brass serpent, with the outward appearance of the serpent, but without its poison. When He was hung on the cross, He destroyed the old serpent, Satan, and judged the world that belongs to him.
As a result, all the negative things have been dealt with by the death of Christ. Sin and the nature of sin are gone. The flesh, the man in the old creation, together with the whole old creation are gone. Even the old serpent, Satan, together with the world, has been terminated. As the Lamb, the man in the flesh, the last Adam, the Firstborn of all creation, and the brass serpent, the God-man, Christ, has dealt with all the negative things in the universe on the cross.
In addition, there are two positive statuses in Christ’s crucifixion. One is the Peacemaker. He came to make peace. The other is the Life-dispenser. He came to dispense life. Through His death, He annulled all the commandments in ordinances and made peace, creating one new man as a result. This new man needs the life of God. Hence, this crucified Christ became at the same time a grain of wheat. The purpose of His death was not only for our redemption to deal with sin or for the destruction of Satan, but also for the release of the divine life within Him and the dispensing of it into all the believers, that they may become the many grains, just as He Himself is.
(The Mysteries in God's New Testament Economy, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)