THE CROSS OF CHRIST PRODUCING THE ONE NEW MAN
The church was produced by Christ on the cross (Eph. 2:15). On the negative side, Christ abolished all the ordinances on the cross, and on the positive side, He created one new man of two peoples, the Jews and the Gentiles. Today this one new man is the Body of Christ, the church. The old man was created, and the new man, the church, was also created. The church, the new man, was created by Christ in Himself on the cross. We know that Christ died on the cross for our sins, yet few have heard that Christ died on the cross to create the one new man, the church. This shows that the cross of Christ is very great.
God created a corporate man and called their name Adam (Gen. 5:1-2). God’s intention in creating this corporate man was to express Himself. However, this corporate man failed God and was divided through the fall by all kinds of ordinances. These ordinances are all the different ways of living. The Jews, the Gentiles, the Americans, the British, the French, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Filipinos, the Puerto Ricans, the Yankees, and the Texans each have their own way of living. Men, women, the older generation, and the younger generation also have their own way of living. These ways of living are the ordinances, and these ordinances are used by the subtle enemy to divide humanity.
The old man failed God, but God’s intention was to create a new man. On the cross, Christ eliminated all the different ordinances. He also eliminated all the different peoples. All the Americans, British, Chinese, Japanese, Yankees, Texans, and Californians have been crucified. Christ not only crucified the old things and the negative things, but He also created something new—the one new man, the church.
THE ALL-INCLUSIVE DEATH OF CHRIST PRODUCING THE ONE NEW MAN
The death of Christ on the cross was all-inclusive. Not only did man die there, but God also died there. God died on the cross in order to be released. John 12:24 says, “Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” When the grain falls into the earth and dies underneath the earth, it grows up and is released to become many grains. God in Christ died on the cross. Death, however, can never terminate God, just as death does not terminate a grain of wheat. Seeds are not afraid of death; they expect to be put into death. To put a seed into death affords it the best opportunity to be released. The reason for this is that there is life within the seed. We as human beings are afraid of death because if we are put into death we are terminated. However, God is life. God is not afraid of death. God went into death and Hades and had a tour of death. He walked into death and walked out. Death cannot hold Him, the resurrection life (John 11:25). God went into death, and death could not hold Him. Rather, it helped Him to be released.
Our wonderful Jesus is God and man; He is a God-man. When He died on the cross, both God and man died there. God died there to be released, and man died there to be terminated. The cross was a termination to man and a release to God. Whatever you are, whatever I am, whatever the Jews are, and whatever the Gentiles are were terminated on the cross. Whether or not we believe this, it is still the fact. Even before we were born, we all were terminated on the cross. It is not a small thing that Jesus died on the cross, because when Jesus died, God died in Him and man died in Him.
In the death of Christ the old man was terminated and God was released. In this release the one new man was produced. Christ’s all-inclusive death accomplished a mingling. By the death of Christ we can now be one with God. By the incarnation of Jesus, God came into man, but by the death and resurrection of Christ, man has been brought into God. On the cross man was terminated, while in resurrection man was brought into the release of God. This release produced the one new man. Regardless of whether or not we know this or believe it, it is a fact. The angels know it, the demons know it, and Satan knows it even more. The church was produced by the all-inclusive death of Christ.
(Enjoying the Riches of Christ for the Building Up of the Church as the Body of Christ, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)