I am afraid I again have to return to a specific thing Jesus said and which has been reverberating through my mind with increasingly insistency the last couple of days. He said as recorded in John 15:5: “…..for without me you can do nothing.”
I have always read this verse as: “without me you can do nothing good.” The context of this verse is obviously that when we abide in Him we bring forth much fruit. However, the verse doesn’t state what I have read into it. The word nothing is finite, absolute. Nothing contains everything. I come to the conclusion that what Jesus said only can be wholly appreciated if our point of reference is the tree of life. I obviously have read this verse from an understanding derived from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. My human definitions of good and evil fall lifeless to the ground when my life is absorbed into the tree of life. Life far supersedes any definitions I have made in order to create some sort of order in my sometimes confusing universe. It is only through faith that the tree of life becomes my secure ground from where I can receive all the promises inherent in Christ.
Without Jesus I can do nothing. It can only imply that everything in my life is Him. I have had no problems associating what I have defined as good and what I have defined as light with Him. However, my seasons of darkness, I have attributed to myself. But, now I cannot escape that definiteness of “nothing”. Everything is Him. That is the total truth. I am not an independent self. I am a container of Christ. God says a most peculiar thing in Isaiah 45:7: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” I believe God in this verse uses words which we can understand from our limited human perspective. However, from His perspective, everything He creates is love and light which bursts forth on account of His redemptive purposes, and His ways are thus often far outside my scope of understanding. “Nothing” hence means that in His infinite wisdom I am light and darkness as well. Since God is love and light this what I perceive as darkness evidently must be hidden light. Another one of those mysteries that is too great for me to grasp. I further on cannot fathom that what I perceive as failures is Him expressing Himself as me. But, nothing is nothing, even in this context. It strikes me how humble God is. How He is willing to risk His reputation in being associated with fragile beings as me. That humbles me.
Despite all the aforementioned I know I am a person. I somehow know that I am more than an automat. I am a unique individual with everything that entails. It is now that my mind comes to the end of itself. This is an almost insoluble paradox. We are two, yet one. I find only one solution to this. There is only one conclusion that enables me to reconcile these seemingly conflicting facts and that is: I am Christ in my form. I am slowly beginning to grasp what Paul said: “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me,…(Gal 1:15). His Son has been in me from the day I was born again. During the time I with great determination did my wilderness walk He was there. When I failed most miserably He was there. When I writhed in guilt and condemnation He was there. It was when I came to the end of myself and the illusion that I am an independent self was forever shattered that my lovingly Father could reveal His Son in me.
I suddenly now become to come to terms with all the exhortations and admonitions which both Paul, Peter and the other New Testament authors found necessary to include in their writings. Since I am Christ in my form, and the virgin birth is repeated in me I have gone through all the seasons Jesus went through from infancy to maturity. It should be quite clear that when I was a spiritual child I had to be under a different regime than what is called for when I am an adult. Children needs firm boundaries and a rather strict upbringing to become responsible and mature adults, but when as they grow their parents grant them more and more liberty even though that often is a rather painful process both for the maturing person and the parents. This is the mystery: Christ is repeatedly brought to maturity in persons like you and me. I am rendered in utter awe as I am allowed to see more and more of God’s plan being unfolded in my life. In retrospect I see clearly that it has all been necessary. As a loving Father He has led me through pain, tribulations, misery, great achievements and moments of intimacy and love that is beyond this world. When I have been teetering on the verge of giving up, when the issues I have faced have rendered me in a state where I have wanted to die He has been there encouraging me to take another step. He has been the perfect Father in all His dealings with me. I can only imagine how it must have hurt Him to let me go through those periods when everything was dark, but without them I would still have been in infancy. As Christ has been formed in me I have gone from glory to glory. That is His perspective and that is the truth.