An organism is never an end in itself… and is never something for itself. It is a means to a larger end, a channel for larger purposes; and the object of an organism is to reproduce itself by life. That reproduction is always sacrificial. It always costs. It is always by the vessel’s yielding up of itself in some way. That is to say, death is the way to increase. Reproduction is sacrificial. That brings us to the passage of Scripture in which the Lord summed up everything with regard to His future relationship with His own… and the result of His having come into this world: “Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” John 12:24
Unless a life propagates, it remains without being marked by any purpose. It is an end in itself, and God never meant any organism to be that. It saves its own life by letting it go so that increase may be the result. The law of increase is sacrifice: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the earth and die…” There is no propagation, there is no increase, there is no reproduction except by letting all that is merely personal go… in the interest of what is other and more.
Christ risen is shown to be a reality for inward expression, inward experience. The risen Life of the Lord is to be in us. Christ is to be in us by His Life… and by His Spirit of Life. The inward meaning and value of Christ risen is the reproduction of His Life in all those in whom He is, that all such as have Him dwelling in them in the power of His risen Life should be an expression of Christ in Life and should manifest Him in the power of the Life. It is reproduction of the Christ-Life in us.
The law of that reproduction in us is that we ourselves should die and should accept the place of death so that all personal life, personal interest, is entirely put away, is shed, is parted with… and Christ becomes all. That is what Paul meant when he said, “I have been crucified with Christ, yet I live; yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me.” Here is the expression of Christ produced because all life that is not of Christ has been yielded to the Cross and has died. It has fallen into the grave of the Lord Jesus, and out of the grave of the Lord Jesus there has come an expression of Him.