THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD AS THE SPIRIT OF LIFE BECOMING OUR LIFE
This wonderful One lived on earth for over thirty-three years. One day, He suddenly told His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem to be crucified on the cross. When the disciples heard this word, they were very disappointed. They did not understand what the Lord meant. They thought that the Lord was going to die—the One whom they loved and followed, the One who calmed the waves, healed the sick, and cast out the demons. To them, everything would be over if the Lord were to die. It seemed that they did not hear the next word that the Lord spoke, that in three days He would rise up again. They knew what death was, but they had never heard of resurrection. Hence, they did not at all understand what the Lord meant. Although the Lord revealed the matter to them three times already (Matt. 16:21-27; 17:22-23; 20:17-19), they still did not grasp it.
The Lord Jesus is the Passover Lamb ordained by God (John 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7). He was indeed crucified for us and died on the Jewish Passover day according to God’s prophecy and the Old Testament type (Matt. 26:2; 27:15). When He died and was buried, the disciples were greatly disappointed; they returned home in disenchantment. But in a little over thirty hours, the news came that He was resurrected. Those who heard it ran to the tomb and discovered that the stone was rolled away and the Lord’s body was not there; only the linen cloths and the handkerchief that had been on His head still lay there. This proves that the Lord did not escape, nor was He stolen by anyone. While they marveled, a messenger of the Lord came and told them that the Lord had resurrected.
In this resurrection, He changed His form. Formerly, He was God; by becoming flesh, He put on the form of man. Then He was crucified and resurrected to become the Spirit. This is what is written in 1 Corinthians 15, that “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit’’ (v. 45). Through becoming the life-giving Spirit, He is able to dispense Himself into us. The Lord Jesus said: “I am the life.’’ He also said: “I have come that they may have life’’ (John 14:6; 10:10). How can we receive Him as life, and how can He come into us? When He was resurrected, He became the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2). By this, He is able to come into us as our life.
On the evening of the Lord’s resurrection, the disciples were gathered together in one place. Although they heard that the Lord had resurrected and they had believed, they did not see Him nor know where He was, and they were therefore very uneasy. The door of the room where they were was closed for fear of the Jews. Suddenly, the Lord appeared in their midst and said to them: “Peace be to you.’’ After this, He showed them the marks of the nails in His hands and in His side. By that time, when the disciples saw that it was the Lord, they were glad, and their hearts were put at ease. Then Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’’ After He spoke this word, He breathed into them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit’’ (John 20:19-22). This Holy Spirit is the Holy Breath, who is also the Lord Himself. This time, the Lord did not come in that flesh that He had before; rather, He came with a resurrected body. This body is real and touchable, and yet it can penetrate through closed doors. This is something that our finite mind can never understand.
Through death and resurrection, this Jesus Christ who was the embodiment of God became the life-giving Spirit. As breath, He was breathed into the disciples as life. This Holy Breath is the ultimate consummation of the Triune God. The Triune God has been processed to be consummated as the completed Spirit. This Spirit is the Lord Himself. In this Spirit, there are many rich elements, including God, man, human living, the all-inclusive death, the mysterious resurrection, and the transcending ascension (John 20:17). Now, this Spirit has entered Peter, James, John, and all the believers. Hence, wherever the disciples are sent, He is always with them. As the Father sent the Son and came with Him, in the same way the Lord sends the disciples and goes with them.
The disciples were overjoyed at the scene before them. To them it was too good to be true. But suddenly the Lord disappeared again. He did not go away; rather, He remained within the disciples, so that they could become accustomed to His invisible presence. The Lord appeared again to them many times. Those, however, were not His comings, but His appearings. He had never left the disciples, but was with them all the time. Because of their weakness, He would sometimes manifest His presence to strengthen their faith. Not long after this, due to his need for his livelihood, Peter brought a few brothers with him to fish by the sea. Some of them were professional fishermen, and the sea was full of fish. Moreover, nighttime is the best time to catch fish. However, they did not catch anything for the whole night. This was truly a miracle! Surely the Lord had commanded all the fish to stay away from the nets. After this, the Lord appeared to them and gave them guidance. Although that was not the good time to fish, they cast their net according to the Lord’s word and caught many fish. This is, of course, a miracle too! Surely the Lord had ordered the fish to swim into their net. By this, the Lord recovered Peter back to His calling, and through this he experienced the Lord living in him as his life.
(God's Way in Life, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)