Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
This message is the continuation of the foregoing message in which we began to consider the subjective aspect of the Man-Savior’s resurrection. The first matter we saw relating to this subjective aspect is that the Man-Savior’s resurrection was His transfiguration into the life-giving Spirit in order to enter into His believers (1 Cor. 15:45b; John 14:16-20).
The resurrection of the Man-Savior was a process. This process began immediately after the Lord’s birth. We should not think, therefore, that His resurrection began on the third day after His crucifixion.
If we consider the New Testament thoroughly, we shall realize that resurrection begins with death. For the thirty-three and a half years of the Lord’s human living on earth, He experienced death—death to Himself and to all things other than God. Hence, the life He lived was a life under death.
In Luke 12:50 the Man-Savior indicated that He was very constrained and desired to be released: “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am pressed until it is accomplished!” The Greek word translated “pressed” may also be rendered “constrained.” The Man-Savior was constrained in His flesh, which He had put on through incarnation. Therefore, He needed to die, to be baptized in physical death, so that His unlimited and infinite divine being with His divine life might be released from within Him. The point here is that the Lord lived a life under death to Himself and that this kind of living is related to the process of resurrection.
As an illustration of the fact that resurrection begins with death, let us consider once again the Lord’s word concerning Himself as a grain of wheat: “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” (John 12:24). When a grain of wheat is sown into the earth, it dies there. But while it is dying, it is also growing. The strange thing is this: if the grain of wheat does not die, it will not grow. Suppose a grain of wheat is placed on a table and left there. That grain of wheat will not die, and also it will not grow. In order for a grain of wheat to grow, it must be put in the ground to die. It grows by the way of dying. Without dying, a grain of wheat will never grow.
Now we need to see that the resurrection of a grain of wheat does not begin when the wheat sprouts out from the soil. When a grain of wheat sprouts in this way, someone may say, “Look! We can see the resurrection of the grain of wheat.” It is not wrong to say that the sprouting of a wheat grain is a matter of resurrection. But the point we are making here is that the resurrection of a grain of wheat does not begin with the sprouting of the grain. Rather, its resurrection begins much earlier than this. The resurrection of a grain of wheat begins with the death of the grain.
From the illustration of the dying and growing of a grain of wheat we can see that while Christ was dying, He was resurrecting. When did Christ’s resurrection begin? We should not say that it began three days after His crucifixion. According to the picture of a grain of wheat dying and growing, Christ’s resurrection began while He was dying. He likened Himself to a grain of wheat falling into the ground to die so that many grains might be brought forth. The Lord Jesus, like the grain of wheat, was growing, sprouting, resurrecting, even while He was dying.
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