The Experience of Christ, by Witness Lee

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In Luke 12:50 the Lord Jesus said, "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" Very few Christians understand this verse. When the Lord Jesus came out to minister, He was baptized by John. But in this verse He said that He still had a baptism to undergo and that He was straitened until it was accomplished. The word "straitened" in this verse means compressed. While the Lord Jesus was in His humanity, He was compressed; He was in a strait, in a narrow place. This means that He was restricted and that there was no release for Him. Within Him was something unlimited, immeasurable, and eternal. This was the divine life. The divine life in Him was compressed, straitened, constrained, and confined. In other words, it was limited. This limitation could be removed only by the baptism of dying on the cross. Then the unlimited divine eternal life within the Lord Jesus could be released.

In 1933 Brother Nee gave me a book entitled The Release of the Lord. This book covered John 12:24 and Luke 12:50. I cannot express the great help I received through the reading of this book. The day I read that book I saw that the death of Christ was not only for redemption, but also for the release and the impartation of the divine life that was within Him. Not only did His death release the life of God from within Him; it also imparted it into us, making us grains of wheat just like Him. The Lord Jesus said that if a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it will produce many grains. Certainly the many grains are the same as the one grain. Thus, we, the grains produced out of Christ’s death, are the same as Christ. Hallelujah, He was the one grain, and we are the many grains!

One difference between the one grain and the many is that He was willing to fall into the ground, but we are not. Instead of falling into the ground to die, we like to be uplifted. However, if we are lifted up, there will be no multiplication. The only way for a grain to multiply is to fall into the ground and die. Otherwise, it will remain alone, perhaps alone in a high place. All genuine Christians are grains, but not many are willing to fall into the ground and die. Some years ago there were thousands of "Jesus people," but where are they now? There was a huge crowd, but there was very little life because few experienced the death of Christ.

(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)