Eternal life is so much more than a vague never ending timeline of Heavenly ‘happy ever after’ waiting for us after this life finishes. This thing we commonly call ‘eternity’ cannot be adequately measured within the framework of any human definition. Eternal life is essentially the supernatural, abundant, endless, pure life of Christ into which His Bride has already entered. Eternal life even now manifests in those whose temporal, earthly lives are being crucified to make way for the fullness of His endless Life through the power of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 7:16). This hoped for everlasting life we so often refer to is in reality the vast width, depth, length and height of the knowledge of Christ in all His immeasurable fullness (John 17:3; Eph. 3:18,19).
This boundless, immense fullness of Christ was poured out in creation as pure and abundant Life, for “all things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible….and by Him all things consist….for it pleased the Father that in Him all fullness should dwell.” (Col. 1:16-19) From that outpouring of the fullness of pure Christ-Life every living creature that ever has been, or is, or will be, received a measure of life, for “of His fullness we have all received” (John 1:16).
The source of all life and breath is God (Acts 17:25). The arrogant atheist who scoffs at the existence of God, the liberal theologian who denies Christ’s divinity, the unbelieving mocker who curses His Name, the blasphemers, the humanists, the lovers of sin, the satanists – all live and breathe only by the immeasurable Life of Christ that was poured abundantly into creation. Every tongue that mocks, derides or rejects Christ Jesus functions only as long as it has life, and that very life was received out of Christ’s limitless fullness. In Christ alone the pure, eternal Life of God came to dwell fully in human flesh. The endless, incorruptible Life that entered the world in Him is the Light of all humanity (John 1:4)
Christ is that great Tree of Life on which humanity was originally commanded to nourish itself. He is the supreme and absolute expression of the pure, uncorrupted, ever flowing Life of God. And that Life, that purest expression of eternal, endless Life, willingly came into the world to bring light into the spiritual darkness of fallen humanity. John the apostle witnessed that Life in the flesh and by the Spirit was given to understand the fullness of this endless Life present in Christ. Many years later John wrote of the wonder of what he had witnessed:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you…..” (1 John 1:1-3)
It is into this endless depth and fullness of eternal Christ-Life that His bridal company of crucified followers is journeying (Eph. 4:13).
What does this fullness of the stature of Christ look like? Light! It looks like light, but true light, not the false light of this world.
“In Him was life and the life was the light of men.” The world is not in darkness, the world is darkness. When Christ walked the earth He was the world’s only true light (John 9:5). Since His bodily departure the Life of Christ dwelling now in His Bride penetrates the darkness and the darkness does not, cannot, consume it. This fullness of Christ, His endless Life, bursts through the surrounding spiritual darkness as pure, piercing light into the souls and minds of fallen humanity, both in word and in deed.
Don’t look for this Christ-Life in the outward appearance of people or institutions. Jesus, in whom the fullness and power of endless Life dwelt bodily, was unremarkable in appearance. John the Baptist did not recognize Jesus among the crowd until the Spirit of God revealed Him (John 1:33). Judas had to embrace Jesus in order for the authorities to differentiate Him from His disciples (Mat. 14:44). Christ’s endless Life was not something that was apparent in the flesh, in the way He walked, spoke or appeared. Contrary to what Hollywood would have us believe, Jesus was not tall, athletic, blue eyed and drop dead gorgeous.
The world describes as ‘full of life’ those who are energetic and busy, or those who attract people with their vibrant, bubbly personalities. This kind of ‘life’ is external and carnal. In the same way, Christians often describe churches where the music is upbeat, the congregation active, worship physically expressive and the preaching positive and punchy as ‘full of life’. That may or may not be the case, but beware – the measure of Christ-Life in His Bride is genuine holiness, not an outward appearance of happiness.
The endless, vibrant, pure Life flowing through Christ manifested in His words and His deeds, for in Him grace and truth came together (John 1:14,17). The world already had truth encoded by letter in the Law handed down to Moses, but divine grace mixed with divine truth had not been seen by fallen humanity until Christ came. This same combination of grace and truth will be evident in all who are surrendered vessels to His endless Life.
We need to understand that those who do not have Christ are already spiritually dead. The fullness of His Life will increasingly flow from His bridal company as it flowed from Him, to those who do not know that Life. His endless Life will manifest as spiritual light, piercing the world’s darkness and revealing Christ. This light is not seen with the eyes, but has power to awaken the human spirit. Some in the world will welcome this light and others will despise it, for there are many who love darkness more than light (John 3:19).
The endless Christ-Life that is the light of humanity resides within each member of His rising Bridal company. Outwardly this Bride may individually be dark or fair, young or old, physically strong or weak or disabled – it is irrelevant. The light that this corporate Bride brings into the darkness, this true Light, is Life Himself. The overflowing, abundant fullness of Christ’s stature, the power of His endless Life, is displayed in the beautiful brokenness of His overcoming Bride. She, like Him, is the Light of the world.
© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2014 Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included. To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.