Jesus Christ Our Lord
The Seed of the woman, promised to the whole creation by God in Genesis 3:15, had journeyed more than four thousand years, experiencing amazing moments in human history, and had now become the revealed Seed. God had spoken loud and clear and His Son had taken human form and entered time and space. John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God”. God the Father who, from eternity past had determined for His Son to be spoken into the realm of the creation and be the redeemer of all things, released His Word into the soil of the earth. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. God surrendered His Son, just as a tree releases its seed, for the very specific purpose of producing a wonderful harvest of souls who would not die in the famine of spiritual separation, but find life and purpose through the Son. The destiny of every planted seed is harvest! In His death, Jesus was planted in the depth of this world of sin. And as He rose from the dead, He pollinated a vast field of sinners with His life and all the blessings that God had purposed for us.
When we examine the life of Christ on earth, we must pay close attention to His character and His message. Just as in nature every seed has specific characteristics which dictate the fruit it will ultimately produce, the divine Seed has characteristics which define His ultimate fruit.
Jesus, as the promised Seed, carried within Him, and throughout His history, the essence of what God was all about. And what God is all about can be summarized in one word: Life! The character of the promised Seed, now the revealed Seed, demonstrates the very character of God, which is Life. God is Life! The Bible is very clear on this matter. All of John’s writings, including his Gospel, address this issue.
Just as a seed in nature fully manifests all the attributes of its parent or progenitor, so did Jesus in His incarnation and His life, manifest who God was. John 1:4 explains, “In Him was life and the life was the light of men”. We see that first of all, Jesus contained in Him God’s Life, not human life. Every human being has human life. No, Jesus was unique in that He had a special kind of life, one that had never been seen nor experienced before. This life was not just an extraordinary life. It was God Himself encased in human flesh. It was the author of all that exists and has its being in the created universe. Verse 3 adds, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”. This life had several distinct characteristics:
1. This Life was creative, not created. The life that Jesus had is the life that had brought the universe into being. This life can do nothing but create. It is like a painter who exists to paint, a sculptor who exists to sculpt, or a musician who exists to create music, etc. This life cannot cease from creating. Even now, as you read these lines, God is creating. ‘Reality’ is what God allows to be created in our dimension. Without His permission nothing will continue to exist. He creates new life in those who ask Him for the seed of this life, Jesus Christ, to be planted in their hearts. Every time a person repents of sin and acknowledges Christ as Savior, he/she comes under the creative power of God unto regeneration and re-creation –a new person in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away; behold all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17).
New birth means new creation! God continues to create new beings who are to be conformed to the image of His Son. A Christian is a person who has experienced the creative power of God and has become a new creation. Therefore, the kind of life Jesus contained in Himself as the divine Seed was a creative Life that could create all things.
2. This Life was light (vs. 4). One of the characteristics of this life is its ability to illuminate. This life illuminates whoever it touches. It seeks darkness and dispels it. Darkness cannot withstand light and light always overcomes darkness. There is no darkness in God. He is light, and His life is light. John says, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5).
Just as light has certain effects on those who encounter it, so does darkness have its special effects on whoever comes in contact with it. Luke indicates that darkness has power, an opposing power to the power of light. We all know, even in our limited and earthly knowledge, how much power is stored in light. Light gives life, causes growth, heals, and gives a feeling of security. In contrast, darkness brings death, causes retardation, sickens, and gives a feeling of insecurity and fear.
Luke 22:53 Jesus says, “When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” And John confirms, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
Evil deeds stem from darkness. Those who love evil lifestyles and mindsets are said to prefer darkness over light. Light exposes anything that is evil, because God is light and there is no evil in Him. God is good and His goodness dispels darkness. Those who prefer evil, prefer darkness. Light reveals everything. It discovers and exposes! The truth of the Gospel is like a solid beam of light that exposes anything and everything in its path. God’s light powerfully penetrates the depths of everything, exposing all falsehood!
“A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12:35-36).
When Jesus encourages His disciples to seek and walk in the light, He is asking them to seek and walk in Him and His life! The Seed was the breaking through of this light into the world (John 1:5). The world had never seen the light of God’s glory manifested in and through anyone in such a permanent and detailed way. They had had glimpses of it in the Old Testament. Moses saw some aspects of God’s light, the High Priests observed the light of God’s Shekinah glory in the Holiest place once a year, the prophets received visions of God’s immense glory and brightness; but at no time, had the glory of God shone and broken through the realms of mankind until Jesus, God’s Seed of glory was revealed. And upon the revelation of Christ, that light began shining in the darkness of this cold and dead world, bringing life and hope to those who sat in the shadows of death, “to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God with which the dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:77-79).
The miracle of Christmas was not just the birth of a baby in a manger, but the breaking through of this eternal light that had come to lead humanity out of the the darkness of sin and the coldness of death. Jesus brought this kind of life and light to us. Light and life always go together, they are complementary. There is no life without light and light invariably indicates the presence of life.
The Seed had come to take us by the hand and lift us up from the cold and damned shadows of death that had followed us for thousands of years like dark clouds, and to lead us into the freshness and the abundant Life in the light!
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) finding out what is acceptable to the Lord and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them… But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore he says, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’” (Eph. 5:8-14).
In the passage above, the apostle Paul beautifully explains the character of this life, this light as revealed by the Seed. He first reminds the believers in Ephesus that they were once, not only in darkness, but were darkness themselves. Just as light permeates the person, darkness permeates the soul. The soul of a sinner is full of darkness and becomes progressively darker until it becomes perfectly compatible to its final destiny: Hell! I don’t think hell is a fiery lake which can produce light. I believe hell is absolute and complete darkness and loneliness perpetuated forever! C.S. Lewis beautifully expounds on this matter in his book The Problem of Pain. It is frightening to even imagine such an infinite degree of darkness and separation, experienced forever by people drowned in themselves and their lusts forever.
Paul then teaches that light will invariably produce fruit! The fruit of the Spirit in verse 9 is a direct result of the believers’ walk in the light. Such a conduct can manifest the real substance of this light, in contrast to light in the visible world which is nothing more than wavelengths produced by magnetic vibrations of elements in nature. This light was not a visible light, but a light that, having taken its origin from the very Life of God, permeates all goodness, righteousness, and truth! The Seed revealed the character of God, just as light reveals the character of its origin. Every light has an origin. Jesus, as the divine Seed was the light that originated from God, because He was God. Three outstanding characters of God are shown to us: Goodness, righteousness, and truth! What a beautiful light!
Jesus, the Seed, was living proof that God is good, God is goodness! There is no evil in God! This is perhaps not so revolutionary at first glance, but upon closer look at what Jesus revealed, we see the uniqueness of Christ in showing God’s goodness in a completely new light! Jesus was the embodiment of goodness as was his Father, without any trace of evil in Him. Furthermore, we discover a new truth in Christ: that God is not even the author of evil. He had never created nor initiated evil. In James 1:17, the Apostle says, “For God cannot be tempted by evil [because in Him there is no evil] nor does He Himself tempt anyone… Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning”.
Next we see this light as righteousness. This refers to the conduct and the dealings of God arising out of His goodness, which is His essence. God is righteous, not in the sense that He has no remedy for the wronged! Mankind had been wronged since their first encounter with the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Their right to rule on behalf of God, their fellowship with God, and their life-constitution was altered and subjected to failure, separation, and eventual death. God’s righteousness not only means His impeccable and eternal character and standing in relation to all things, but it also means that God devises plans and means to correct wrong and remedy the problem. That is precisely why God gave His only begotten Son to this world to remedy the problem of sin, judgment and death. He did this because He is good and righteous! His goodness prompts His righteousness to act and bring fallen man into a right standing and relationship with Him on the basis of the remedy that He has devised.
Finally, this light revealed the very core of God’s constitution and the basis of His conduct: Truth! God is absolute truth and all that He does stem from Him being truth. When standing before Pilate during His trial before His crucifixion, Jesus declared the following truth, “For this cause I was born [the light shone] and for this cause I have come into the world that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice” (John 18:37).
Jesus was the light of the world (John 8:12) and in His light God was revealed as absolute goodness, righteousness and truth.
When Jesus shines into our hearts, is planted in a fertile ground, He bears the fruit of goodness, righteousness, and truth. The believer takes on the character of God as the Seed grows and produces its fruit. Our life and character are then filled with divine goodness (not self-motivated human goodness), righteousness, and truth! What a magnificent Seed this is and what amazing fruit it produces!
For more references to this life being light read Ps. 97:11, II Cor. 4:6, I Peter 2:9, and II Peter 1:19.
3. This life resurrects. Unlike human life that begins gloriously and over time fades away into oldness and eventually death, God’s life as manifested by the divine Seed, is an everlasting life. It is further a resurrecting life. It is one thing for life to be everlasting, it is another thing for life to be resurrecting. Resurrecting life opposes death! It repels death! It hates anything that is of death! This life cannot co-exist with death. It overcomes death! It reverses death into life! It brings everything it touches back to life! Jesus was the Seed of that divine life released by the Father to bring life into this dying world.
Jesus was the embodiment of resurrection. He was the seed of resurrection, the promise of resurrection. Everything Jesus did was on the basis of resurrection. Jesus’ life, teachings, and conduct towards people all stemmed from resurrection. Let us review some of the key features of the life of Christ in this context:
When Jesus healed people, He demonstrated not only the power of God, but also the power of resurrection in restoring and reversing the effects of death and decay. Sickness and disease speak of death in its outworking in the human body. Sickness leads to death. Infirmities deprive people from the ability to function to the fullest and benefit from all that life has promised them. In type, all diseases and infirmities speak of the desperate condition of human beings and their captivity to death which gradually permeates body, soul, and spirit. Jesus healed all those with infirmities and deformities to substantiate and validate the message He had brought. He was the Seed of divine life who had come to resurrect what was dead or dying. Some of the most interesting healings in the Bible are the healings of barren women. Barrenness stands for death for a barren womb is incapable of bringing forth fruit. The Bible describes the womb of Sarah as dead (Romans 4:17-19)! God healed the barren wombs of many great women such as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth to demonstrate the principle of resurrection and the fruit of resurrection: Life! Every time a barren womb was healed, it bore life. Likewise, God’s victory over death is the release of an incredible life-force which transforms everything dead and brings forth the fruit of life! Jesus Christ was the Seed of that resurrection life. He Himself said, “Most assuredly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24).
Our barrenness and death is cured forever when the Seed of God’s life, the life of the Lord Jesus, is planted in us, resulting in the growth of life unto eternity! Jesus Himself stated, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live!” (John 11:25). Life and resurrection are inseparable qualities, forming the essence of the character of this divine Seed. Everything in the path of this life will be made alive. Life returned into anyone Jesus touched, into their deformed, infirm, and dead bodies, restoring them to wholeness, which is a type of the complete restoration and resurrection of the believer into the fullness of Life. Even the disciples of Christ perpetuated this principle. In the Book of Acts we read about both Peter and Paul releasing this power. Life was just oozing out of them!
In Ezekiel 47, we read about the vision of the end-time when the temple in Israel is restored, and a river flows from under the altar eastward and empties into the Dead Sea. The word of God says, “when it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes”. Praise the Lord! The life of God, first encapsulated in Jesus Christ as a seed, and then revealed in Him and His life with great power and majesty, is now flowing like a mighty river of life, flowing from under His altar, through and in the Church, the body of Christ, bringing healing and life to everything dead (even if seemingly alive)! Remember when Jesus was touched by the woman who had a blood disease for 12 years? What did Jesus say when she touched Him? “Somebody touched me, for I perceived power going out of me!” (Luke 8:46). Something flowed out of Christ like a river of life and touched the woman. The river of life overcame the river of death! She had a flow unto death! Christ had a flow unto life! The flows met the moment the woman’s fingers touched the hem of His garment. The river of life swallowed up the river of death!
Paul ends his magnificent essay on the reality of resurrection by saying, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your sting? O Hades where is your victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:54-57).
Jesus was the source and the spring of this life that was hidden in God for ages past, and now in him, as the Seed, was made available to mankind for the first time in history. No other prophet, teacher, philosopher, religious leader, or any other great historic figure could claim nor offer this life. Only Jesus, as the Seed of the woman, and God’s divine life manifested in the flesh was able to do such an incredible work. In John 5:26, we read about a secret that Jesus reveals to us about Himself and His Father. He said, “For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself”. God was pure and self-existent life! Humans are created life. Human population is the propagation of the original life that was in Adam and Eve. God is not so. He has always been and he is always alive! He is self-existent and He has given this life to his Son, our Lord Jesus so that He would also be Life! “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will” (John 5:21). Life and resurrection are intertwined and connected. This life that originates from God raises the dead. It hates death and emptiness! Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me!” (John 14:6). Jesus is Life. Jesus was the seed of life. He was announced by John the Baptist, revealed to Israel in His baptism, buried and planted symbolically in the river Jordan; He lived, acted, demonstrated, and brought resurrection to everything He touched and breathed upon.
This Seed was no ordinary seed. Human seed gives birth to a life that is subject to corruption and death. Along the way, we experience much pain, misery, failures, and infirmities which often make us forget what life is all about. We assume this is life and we just have to make the best of it. So we begin to pursue means of betterment, but soon we discover that our efforts are futile and worthless. Solomon, the great king of Israel, also contemplated on this assumption and made a serious decision to pursue, at whatever cost, the betterment of his life. We read his conclusions in one of the saddest and most depressing accounts in the Bible, Ecclesiastes. The key phrases there are “chasing the wind” and “vanity of vanities”! Nothing can improve this life. Nothing can give this life the power of resurrection. What we really need is the spring of the living water and the fullness that comes from having the divine and resurrection life of God in us. This life will quench our thirst for meaning and will satisfy our soul in this arid wilderness we call life. Remember the encounter between the Lord Jesus and the Samaritan woman? She was on a constant pursuit of the meaning in life in all wrong places. Her coming to the well and drawing water from it daily was symbolic of her tireless effort to quench her thirst for meaning and purpose. Her marriage to five men and the affair with the sixth was a testimony to her pursuit of love and fulfillment. Then suddenly, she met a man who promised her “living water”, water that would resurrect her dead spirit, revive her dry, barren, and aimless life, and quench her thirst for meaning and purpose. Jesus offered Himself and the life that flowed in Him. He was the Seed of life and resurrection which, once planted in a heart, would bring the abundant harvest of fullness and joy; of completeness and fulfillment; of meaning and purpose; of destiny and destination!
4. This life fills. Christ, as the divine Seed, not only demonstrated the character of the Father in being the life that creates, illuminates, and resurrects, but also the life that fills.
We encounter this special character of the Seed in the Gospel of John when Jesus first revealed His glory. In John chapter 2, we read the incident at the wedding in Cana. As this festive occasion was well under way, the host suddenly realized that there was no more wine! Wine in Biblical view represents, among other things, life and the joy of life! This wedding represented the attempt of mankind to find meaning and fulfillment in life. The quick expenditure of the cheaper wine spoke of mankind’s inferior and temporal life that will sooner or later come to an end. At this point, Jesus steps in and commands, “Fill the water pots with water”. I believe the water mentioned here can symbolically mean the ministry of God’s Word. We need to be filled with the divine word, which is none other than Christ Himself. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”. As the divine seed is poured into our lives and planted deep in our spirits, God can activate his word to bring about a fruit that fills and satisfies. Wine is the expression of the fruit of the vine. Christ as the Seed of the vine is grafted into us by His heavenly Father, the Gardner, and we are grafted into Him. In this union in life and purpose, we bring forth fruit, a rich wine.
The filling of the water pots resulted in the manifestation of the best wine ever – wine that pleased the master of the house. The life that Christ contains in Himself as the Seed of the Father, fills everything and brings forth the abundant fruit of satisfaction and fulfillment! Joy returns to God’s people and all His creation. As we look around ourselves, we see nothing but slow and gradual decay and death setting in every aspect of life. The greatest evidence of this loss of joy and fulfillment is the grave of a loved one, or the lifeless body of someone who has been totally emptied of life. The wine of this person’s life has ended and all there is to see is a useless water pot. Even more so, and spiritually speaking, we are all lifeless water pots who have been emptied of our calling and destiny by the events of Eden. Joy has abandoned us; sorrow and pain have instead become our life companions. But then we are brought under the divine command of the living Christ, God’s Seed of life. He commands us to be filled with His word, with Himself, and through the operation of His Spirit, our emptiness is filled. And we become the joy and satisfaction of the master of the house, our Father. This life does not end; it fills and fulfills!
The meaning of the miracle at the wedding in Cana, in reality, is utter and perfect filling, the conversion of emptiness into fullness and joy! John says, “This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him”. The Seed of the divine life of God had this outstanding character: Life filling everything which is empty! This life hates emptiness and must fill everything! In Genesis 1:2, when the earth was empty, we read: “And the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters”. Why was the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters? Because God cannot tolerate vacuum and emptiness. He fills everything with His life and His presence! God filled that empty place, first with waters that contained all kinds of fish and other sea creatures, then with vegetation and animals, and finally with man who was created to rule over God’s beautiful creation. Throughout the Bible we see that God seeks to fill what is empty with Himself and His presence. And Christ is the Seed of this perfect and total fullness that will someday fill all things with Himself! How many times we read in the Old Testament the phrase, “The earth is filled with the glory of God!” Habakkuk says, “For the earth will be filled with knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover [fill] the sea” (2:14). Psalm 72:19 says, “And let the whole earth be filled with His Glory. Amen and Amen.” God even gave the command to Adam and Eve to follow the same principle of His character in Genesis 1:28, “Then God blessed them [filled them] and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ [be filled and express that fullness]; fill the earth and subdue it.” Jeremiah says, “Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord” (23:24). Christ’s mission as the Seed of life and fullness was to fill everything with Himself and manifest this fullness in the glory that would result! How glorious was this Seed that was given to us and planted in us!
When Moses erected the tabernacle, “then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Ex. 40:34). Similarly when Solomon finished the building of the temple and prayed to God for His blessing, “fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple” (II Chr. 7:1). Later, after the destruction of the temple, when Jews returned to Judah to rebuild, the Lord promised, “And I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory says the Lord of Hosts” (Haggai 2:7). God desires to fill everything with His Life. That is the primary character of our Lord Jesus who desired to fill our lives with Himself so that we may bring forth fruit that satisfies the heart of the Father and brings joy to all. In John 15, Jesus introduces Himself as the Vine and we as His branches. As His life fills us to fullness, we bring forth fruit, and as He prunes us, we bear more fruit; and as we continue to abide in His life and allow His life to penetrate every fiber of our being, we bear much fruit. By this the Father is glorified and we are known as His disciples.
Our true test of discipleship is in the fullness we experience and the fruit we bear. The fruit of God’s life is none other than the fruit of the Spirit we read about in Galatians 5:22: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”. Paul reveals to the believers in Ephesus that Jesus, “who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens that He might fill all things” (Eph. 4:10). That is why He gave gifts to the church and to His chosen vessels of ministry in order to bring the church members, individually and corporately, “to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (4:13). Paul encourages all believers to “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (3:19). Have we experienced this filling and this fullness? Has the Seed of God, Jesus Christ been planted in us? As James says, “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (1:21).
If we have not received God’s Seed, which is the creative, illuminating, resurrecting, and the filling life of God, we can simply ask Him by faith and receive the word into our hearts and begin to experience the fullness and joy that is our rightful share and destiny! If we are a Christian, then we must seek and pursue this ever-increasing fullness and filling of His life in our being and bear the fruit that satisfies the Father and glorifies His name, attesting to the reality that we are His disciples!
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