THE CRUCIFIED CHRIST BEING THE UNIQUE WAY TO ACCOMPLISH GOD’S PURPOSE
The central purpose of God is that He wants to become our life. However, how can He become our life? He becomes our life through the cross. Where there is the cross, there is the life of God; where there is the cross, there is the way of God’s life. We must look to God to show us what Christ and the cross will accomplish in us and how we can know Christ and the cross.
God’s life in Christ has been given to us. Every saved one has Christ and the life of God. However, whether or not this life can have a place in us, mingle with us, be constituted in us, and live out from us altogether hinges on whether or not we experience the work of the cross. The extent of the work of the cross in us determines how much ground Christ’s life has in us, how much we are mingled and constituted with Christ’s life, and how much we live out this life.
No doubt, God’s life is in us, and Christ is living in us. However, how can the life of Christ, which is in us, be constituted into us? How can His personality become our personality and His element become our element? How can His life swallow up all of our natural being, fill our inner being, become our element, and be expressed through us? The only way for God to accomplish all of these things is through the breaking of the cross. Only the cross enables Christ to have the position, the opportunity, and the way to do what He wants to do and to accomplish what He wants to accomplish in man.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CROSS BEING DEATH AND TERMINATION
What is the cross? Many people’s understanding of the cross is that it is a kind of suffering. Of course, the cross is painful, but this is just half of the correct understanding. The ultimate significance of the cross is not suffering but death. The slogan of the cross is, “Take Him away! Take Him away!” When the Lord Jesus was about to be crucified, people cried out, “Take Him away! Take Him away!” (John 19:15). The cross not only caused the Lord Jesus to suffer, but the ultimate purpose of the cross was to take Him away, to do away with Him, and to terminate Him; suffering is only the process. Death terminates a person, bringing him to an end. Death is the ultimate significance of the cross. The significance of the cross is to terminate, to bring to an end. The cross terminates not only sins but also you and me.
If a person is not dead or finished, it will be extremely difficult for him to be delivered from sins and the world. Only a dead person can be delivered from sins and the world. A living person cannot be separated from sins, nor can he be free from the entanglement of the world. Hence, the ultimate significance of the cross is to put man to death, to terminate man. If a person is really on the cross, the ultimate issue is that he is ended.
What is the way of the cross? The way of the cross is not merely a way of suffering pain and affliction but a way of termination. Today our spiritual knowledge and concepts are very shallow. We think that to be spiritual we have to be zealous, to love the Lord, and to conduct ourselves properly. We think that as long as we are able to deal with our temper and improve our behavior, we can satisfy God’s heart. However, God does not give us “dealings,” “improvements,” or other methods. God gives us only Christ and His cross.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)