The Experience of Christ, by Witness Lee

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In addition to the accomplishment of redemption, Christ’s death has accomplished twelve things for us. The first is that Christ’s death releases the divine life. Consider a grain of wheat. If a grain of wheat is kept in a container, it will remain alone; nothing will happen to it. In order for the grain to multiply by having the life within it released, the grain must die. We have pointed out that in John 12 Christ had come to His golden time. He had performed a great miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead, and a large number of Jews believed in Him because of it. When He was about to enter Jerusalem, a huge crowd welcomed Him enthusiastically. Even the Pharisees felt that their opposition of Him had been in vain because the world was following Him (John 12:19). Every preacher in Christianity would enjoy having such a great following. However, the Lord Jesus was not excited by the reception given Him by the crowd. When Philip told Him that the Greeks were interested in seeing Him, He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." The Lord Jesus seemed to be saying, "Philip, I don’t care for this welcome. Instead, I am ready to fall into the ground and die."

If I had been Philip, I would have been very disappointed and I probably would have said, "Lord, I’m excited because this is Your golden time. For three and a half years, You have been rejected, opposed, despised, and persecuted. Now the crowds are welcoming You. Lazarus is here as a strong testimony, and everyone is convinced and subdued. Even the Greeks want to see You. But You are not excited. Instead, You speak of a grain of wheat falling into the ground and dying. What does this mean?"


Yes, although there was a great crowd, the question we must ask is this: Is there anything of life in this crowd, in this great following? No, the life that was in the Lord as the grain of wheat had not yet been released and imparted into them. Thus, the Lord seemed to be saying, "I have life in Me, but it has not yet been released and imparted into them. I am the grain of wheat containing life, but the crowd does not have life. Only through death can the life that is in Me be released and imparted into them. Philip, there is no other way. You are excited by this welcome, by this large following. But I don’t care for the excitement or for the following. I came that these people may have life. What is needed is not excitement or a welcome or a following. What is needed is for Me to die so that the life within Me can be released into them. Philip, even you need My death. Although you have been following Me for three and a half years, you still do not have My life within you. The divine life is concealed and confined in Me. I must fall into the earth and die so that it can be released to produce many grains. I am now the unique grain. But after My death, you all will become grains just like Me. Philip, don’t be excited about this situation. What you need is life. You need Me to die so that you may have life."

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