Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the Light. (Col 1:12 Amp.)
In this second post on He Himself (read the first post here if you have not already done so), Paul is making a direct reference to the Canaan Land. As you can see in the Old Testament, God gave allotted portions of the land to the twelve tribes of Israel:
The covenant which He made with Abraham, and His sworn promise to Isaac. (1Ch 16:16)
He confirmed it as a statute to Jacob, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant, [Gen. 35:11, 12.] (1Ch 16:17)
Saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan, the measured portion of your possession and inheritance. (1Ch 16:18)
Here, in Colossians, Paul is telling the believers that Christ is their allotted portion or inheritance. In other words, HE HIMSELF IS THEIR CANAAN LAND!
What a Christ! What a vastly rich Christ! A Christ who is flowing with all of the riches of the Godhead! Let’s take a quick look at some of these riches as typified in the land of Canaan. These are all listed in Deut. 8:7-9
But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life. (John 4:14)
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to Me! Anyone who believes in Me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (When He said “living water,” He was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in Him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into His glory.) (John 7:37-39)
When you contact the living Christ who lives inside of you His life flows out like a mighty rushing river. Notice that the life of Christ is not only in you, the “water” is in you, but also it becomes a bubbling spring (source of water) that springs up out of you as well! How does this happen?
By opening your mouth and letting the living Christ (water) to come out!
He Himself is our water… He Himself is our refreshment…
He Himself is our newness of Life… He Himself is our cleansing…
He Himself is our washing… He Himself is our purification…
He Himself is our rejuvenation… He Himself is our regeneration…
He Himself is our water!
Have you experienced Him as your living Water today?
Have you refreshed others with the Living Water today?
There are seven types of food listed in Deuteronomy 8:8. Wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive oil, and honey. These are all wonderful pictures of different aspects of the life and nature of our beautiful Lord. That is, the unsearchable riches of Christ. It is interesting to note that in each of these foods there is the element of life coming through death.
And Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.” (John 12:23-25)
In order for Christ to become our food He had to go through a “process”. He was the Grain of Wheat that fell into the ground and died. But we cannot eat grains of wheat. He had to be incarnated as a man, be crucified, be resurrected, ascended, and glorified. Now, the one grain became many grains and produced a whole harvest. From that harvest the church was born. Now, He is our bread, a food that we can eat on a daily basis.
Have you ever seen a grain of wheat? They are tiny! Your Lord became very tiny to make He Himself available to you. He was willing to become incredibly limited to fulfill the Father’s purpose of having a house, a body, a bride, a family, and a new race. But this one Grain had to fall into the ground and die before this new race could be born. Death and resurrection, this is what we see throughout all of this. There can be no resurrection life without a death taking place!
The Lord does something very incredible in this passage… He includes us, the many grains of wheat! And He says, he who loves his life loses it! The Lord Jesus isn’t the only one who lays down his life in order for there to be new life happening!
“Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus *said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha *said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:22-26)
“There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated; likewise also of the fish as much as they wanted. When they were filled, He *said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.” So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. (John 6:9-13)
Barley is the first crop in the harvest season. It appears in early April. At this time the high priest would go out to one of the farms in the area and search for the first seedling of barley that had broken through the ground. He would then pluck the seedling and carry it to the temple where he would perform the wave offering of the firstfruits. This actually took place on the day that Jesus rose from the grave. Wow! What a picture of our glorious Christ who is He Himself the true Resurrection!
As in the grinding of wheat to make bread, wine is produced by the crushing of grapes. The wine that makes the heart of man glad is produced through much suffering and death of the grape. In the gospel of John wine is a picture or shadow of the divine Life of God. We can see in the wedding of Cana when Jesus told his mother that his time had not yet come (John 2). Sounds like the aging necessary for a good wine to me! I believe he was saying that the time for his life to be given to man was not yet come. However, he performed this “sign” to display God’s eternal purpose in sending his Son so that mankind could receive his divine life into himself and be transformed into God’s image.
As for myself, I am the vine. As for you, you are the branches. He who maintains a living communion with me and I with him, this one is bearing much fruit, because apart from me you are not able to be doing anything. (John 15:5 Wuest)
The vine (along with the branches) produces fruit… grapes! The grapes in the Canaan land were probably as big as basketballs! It took two grown men just to carry one cluster of grapes (Num. 13:23). When there is divine Life flowing throughout the Vine and the branches there will be glorious expression of the riches of Christ!
I have only one thing to say about this – the sweetness, sweetness, sweetness of our Lord!
Have you ever cut open a pomegranate? There is only one thing inside of a pomegranate… about a million SEEDS! And what do “seeds” speak to you about your Lord? LIFE! But not just any life.. Abundant Life! His Life in abundance.
“… I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The word “life” there is ‘zoe’ in the Greek and this speaks of God’s own life, divine life, uncreated life, eternal life. The pomegranate also speaks to us of reproduction and health. Life begets Life. The life of Christ being expressed to men and angels is the goal and purpose of the Church! (see Eph. 3:10)
Just like with wheat and grapes, olives speak to us of the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord. The garden of Gethsemane was located at the foot of the Mount of Olives. This is where our Christ laid down his life for the purpose of the Father. It was also the place where olives were harvested to make olive oil. This happens through the use of an “olive press”, a machine that presses and squeezes the very life and juice (oil) out of the olives to produce olive oil. This olive press looks a lot like the cross to me!
This is an incredible picture of Christ and the Church and how God gets his eternal purpose in Christ fulfilled through his Body.
- The field bees collect the nectar out of flowers. In fact, they are obsessed with the nectar! It is so sweet for them (a picture of the richness of Christ) that they cannot help but go out and find it. Interesting that they find the nectar within flowers. T. Austin-Sparks defined “glory” as the life of God in it’s highest expression. When a tree or plant is at its highest moment of expression it blossoms. The flowers are the glory (or highest expression) of the plant. Hold that thought for a moment.
- The field bees store the nectar in a special compartment located within their bodies. Every believer has an innermost place (spirit) where the Lord’s life resides. The bees fly back to the hive and then deposit (by regurgitation) the nectar into the house bees. The house bees add their own enzymes to the nectar. We humans add our own flavor to his life expressed through us!
- The nectar turns into honey and is stored as the food for the whole hive. What a picture of how the Body of Christ works in expressing Christ to one another and the whole world, and to angels! We take his glory (flowers) and extract the life (nectar) into our spirits. Then, we share this life with the rest of the “hive” so that this “hive” can manifest his glory to men and angels.
Wow! What an incredible Christ! What a glorious Lord!
He Himself is our vast, all-inclusive Canaan Land!
He Himself contains all of the unlimited resources and riches that we need!
(Be watching for the next post in this series coming soon!)