II. THE MEANING OF RESURRECTION
What is resurrection, after all? We shall look at it from three aspects:
A. Resurrection Means to Be Raised from Death
Resurrection is a state of having passed completely through death and having risen from death. To be in resurrection is different than to be alive. To be alive is the original state without having passed through death. To be in resurrection is to have passed through death and to have been raised up. That which is not in harmony with God, that which is not of God, and that which cannot last eternally is completely terminated once it goes into death. But that which is of God, compatible with God, and eternally existing can pass through death and emerge in resurrection. Hence, to pray in resurrection means that man should pray not according to himself nor according to his natural being. He should not pray according to those things which cannot remain eternally nor according to those things which are incompatible with God. Rather, he must completely go through the cross, which is to pass through death. Then he will be able to pray in resurrection.
B. Resurrection Is God
In John 11:25, the Lord Jesus says explicitly, “I am the resurrection.” God is the resurrection. Even in the Old Testament, God is already the resurrection. Some may ask, “Before the incarnation, in the Old Testament age, how can you say that God is the resurrection?” Please remember, with God there is no time element of before and after. There is only the matter of His eternal nature. God is life, and this life is resurrection.
A certain brother once said something very meaningful. He said, “A grain of sand is finished and cannot come forth after it is buried in the ground. On the other hand, once a seed is buried in the ground and encounters death, it becomes resurrected and breaks forth.” This is true. The unbelievers are finished when they go into death. However, Christians should be afraid that they might miss death, for whenever they go into death, the function of the life within them becomes manifest. Unbelievers are afraid of the environment of death, but Christians should welcome it. Whenever Christians fall into death it is an opportunity for them to live by being resurrected. This life, which is God Himself, is resurrection. He never fears death. On the contrary, He welcomes death, because through death He can manifest Himself as resurrection. Now we see what it means to pray in resurrection. To pray in resurrection is to pray in life. It is to pray in God Who fears not death and to pray in God Who passes through death and still lives.
C. Resurrection Is the Holy Spirit
To be in resurrection also means to be in the Holy Spirit. Once the Lord Jesus entered into the realm of resurrection, He entered into the Holy Spirit. All the experiences which you and I have in the Holy Spirit today are in resurrection. In other words, only those who are in the Holy Spirit are able to touch the reality of resurrection. The Holy Spirit is the reality of resurrection. The Lord Jesus entered into resurrection. To be in resurrection is to be in the Holy Spirit, and to touch the Holy Spirit is to touch resurrection. Praying in resurrection is praying in the Holy Spirit.
Within the resurrected Spirit, there are both the elements of God and the elements of man. This is typified by the incense mentioned in Exodus 30, which is composed of frankincense plus other spices. The anointing oil is also composed of elements representing both God and man. It is very hard to separate the incense from the anointing oil. In the spiritual reality, the reality of the incense is the anointing oil, and the reality of the anointing oil is the incense. In other words, the reality of resurrection is the Spirit, and the Spirit is resurrection itself. To touch the Spirit is to touch resurrection. However, never consider that man is altogether annulled in the experience of prayer. On the contrary, every part of man such as his mind, will, emotion, desires, insight, judgment, and volition may be renewed in the Spirit and be mingled with the prayer in resurrection. The mind of prayer, the emotion of prayer, and the will of prayer, which we have mentioned in the past chapters, are items in resurrection.
Hence, resurrection means that everything of man is terminated and everything of God is manifested. Resurrection is also God being life to man, and it is the very Spirit. To pray in resurrection is to pray in the Spirit. Having understood the meaning of resurrection, we can understand why prayer needs to be in resurrection.
(Lessons on Prayer, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)