Grafted: to prick in, i.e. in graft; position (in place, time or state), into a relationship of rest; to give oneself wholly to, to be one.
A clear understanding of the above meaning of the word “grafted”, as it is used for instance by Paul in Romans 11, is essential to our study of this topic.
Please note very carefully these key words in the definition: “in”, “rest”, and “one”, “give self wholly to”.
Before the circumcised branch can be grafted into the vine, that vine must be cut, or wounded. And so it was prophesied of Christ the True Vine:
Isaiah 53:1-5 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely, He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Notice that it says here: “Smitten by God”. Back in John 15:1 you will recall that Jesus said:
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
God the Father is the Vinedresser; God the Father is the Sovereign Gardener. He is not a gardener like we are; He is truly sovereign, controlling every aspect of the environment in which His Vineyard grows. He determines if there is rain or sunshine, clouds or clear sunny skies. He determines the nutrients in the soil and He determines those branches that He will cut free from the false vine to be grafted-in, by His Hand, into Christ the True Vine. Also, as the Sovereign Gardener He wounded His Son Jesus to enable that grafting-in of the branches to take place.
Look for a moment at the meaning of the word “smitten” in the Hebrew: to strike (lightly or severely,); give wounds to, kill, wound.
God used the hands of sinful men to accomplish this Divine purpose.
Given this understanding it is worth noting what John saw and recorded in Revelation 5: 6
And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.
John was seeing Jesus as He is in Heaven right now, “a Lamb as it had been slain”. In other words, there are still open wounds visible in Christ the True Vine, waiting to receive those branches, which have yet to be grafted in by the Divine Vinedresser.
John 6: 44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Having been grafted into Christ, the True Vine, by God the Father, the Divine Vinedresser, we enter a place that the Scriptures refer to as being “in Christ”. In John 15 Jesus refers to it as that place of “abiding”.
We will be looking at both these terms in greater detail in future chapters, but before doing so we must consider the Importance of Water Baptism.