Precious Ointment Poured Forth (continued)
And, beloved, it is just like that in our experience. The Church, the true Church, has been allowed to be shattered, and shattered again, and the members individually are so often allowed to be broken and broken again; but has it not proved through history that, for the Church and for the individual, the breaking, the shattering, the smashing, has brought about an expression of the glories of Christ in a wonderful way? It is just like that. We go through a new experience of being broken - we put it in other ways sometimes and say we are being brought more deeply into the death of Christ, coming into a fresh experience of the Cross: however we may put it, it means breaking, it means the breaking of the cruse - but, believe me, beloved, it means a fuller expression and knowledge of the glory of Christ, and it will bring us to a new appreciation of Him. We shall discover Him in the time of our brokenness. And in the same way the Church passes through the way of the Cross, but comes by the breaking to the worth of the Lord Jesus.
The Power of His Resurrection
We pass to John and the well-known chapter 11. Here is Bethany again in view, and this time it is the raising of Lazarus which comes before us. We will not go through the whole story and take its details, but simply come swiftly to its one conclusion at the end. Bethany, in this instance, becomes the scene, the sphere, of the manifestation of resurrection power, resurrection life. There are many other things here. There is a wonderful expression of love; there is a wonderful expression of fellowship here in this chapter. Far away from Bethany the Lord said to His disciples: "Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep." "Our friend"; not "My friend," but "our friend." You see, it is fellowship. "Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." It is love. All these are features of Bethany; but the outstanding feature here is the manifestation of His resurrection, the power of His resurrection, resurrection life.
And here again Bethany is an illustration of the Church that He is building. We know this from Ephesians, the "Church Epistle," as we call it. We very soon come to our being "quickened ... together with Christ" (Ephesians 2:5). The Church is the vessel in which the power of His resurrection is displayed; and here again we not only testify to the fact, to the doctrine, but we have to apply the test, that the assembly according to the mind of the Lord is that in which His resurrection power and life are displayed.
(continued with # 9)