THE WAY TO EXPERIENCE CHRIST
Now we have to see how we who are saved can know more of Christ, be filled more with Christ, and have more experiences of Christ. We have to see that the spiritual reality of the church is Christ Himself. Unless we know Christ, experience Christ, and are filled with Christ, all of our works in the church will be void of spiritual value and of spiritual reality, because all spiritual reality is just Christ Himself. We all have Christ and are saved, but how can we be filled with Christ? How can we experience Christ? How can we know Christ? Here we will briefly cover one principle.
THE THREE MARYS
The first step for man to receive Christ is believing. Once you believe, you are saved. However, for a person to further receive Christ, he must not only have faith but also have love. Not many Christians know what it is to love Christ, and not many Christians realize that if they do not love Christ, they will not be able to experience Christ or be filled with Him. In the Bible there are stories of three people which show us specifically how a person has to love Christ in order to experience and know Him. Interestingly, these three people are all females, and all of them have the name Mary. One is the Mary who gave birth to the Lord Jesus (Matt. 1:16). Another is the Mary of Bethany, who was a sister of Lazarus and who anointed the Lord Jesus with fragrant ointment (John 12:3). The third is Mary the Magdalene, who went to the tomb of the Lord Jesus after His resurrection and wept before the empty tomb, and to whom the Lord eventually appeared (20:1). These three different Mary’s loved the Lord in three aspects— in His birth, in His death, and in His resurrection.
Those who experience the Lord also experience Him in these three aspects: in His birth, in His death, and in His resurrection. It is wonderful that there is a Mary in each of these three aspects. The Lord’s birth was through a Mary; before the Lord’s death, there was a Mary; and after the Lord’s resurrection, there was also a Mary. Spiritually speaking, we all are “Mary’s.” Just as Christ was begotten in Mary, Christ was also born in us. First, we must experience Christ’s coming into us; second, we must experience Christ’s death; and third, we must experience Christ’s resurrection. Paul said, “To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10). One who experiences Christ should have these three aspects in his experience: letting Christ come into him to be born in him, experiencing Christ’s death, and experiencing Christ’s resurrection.
We can easily understand Christ’s being in us, but we may not understand that much about Christ’s resurrection. One thing is certain. If we want to experience Christ’s death and resurrection, we must be a “Mary.” According to the record of the Scriptures, there is only one kind of person who has the experience and knowledge of Christ’s death and resurrection. The name of such a person is Mary. Without being a Mary, even though we may be saved, we still have no way to experience Christ. Without being a Mary, even though we may be saved, it is as if we do not have Christ. For Christ to be born in us and to fill us, and for us to pass through Christ’s death, be delivered from the old creation, pass through Christ’s resurrection, and enter into the new creation, we must be a Mary. The record of the Scriptures is very meaningful. Nothing is by chance or by coincidence. The birth of Christ needed a Mary, the death of Christ needed a Mary, and the resurrection of Christ also needed a Mary. They were three different persons, yet they all had the same name. This is a lesson from God.
(The Crucified Christ, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)