I AM: Life
I AM is how Moses came to know God the Father. And John’s Gospel is built around the seven I AM sayings of Jesus. The apostle used Jesus’ statements as part of his effort to show us that Jesus is truly God. John called Him the Word and said In John 1:1 that the Word was in the beginning with God and the Word was God. If we are to understand what life is truly about we will need to pause and hear Jesus say:
I AM the Resurrection and the Life
What did Jesus mean when He said that? How are we to understand it? If we can begin to unpack it, how do we apply that truth to daily living? There is no way to explain it all. Even the bit I feel competent to explain will take more than this space. But I can get start your thinking/meditating process. And you’ll see more of these thoughts running like a thread in many other posts!
I AM: The Source
When Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life, He was declaring Himself to be the source of both. Therefore, apart from Jesus Christ there is no resurrection or life. Think about that. Jesus’ words also make a statement about His divine nature. He doesn’t just have life or give life; He is life. Jesus said He had the power to lay down His life and take it up again. That is exactly what His resurrection showed.
Consequently, death has no real power over Him. Jesus gives light and life to those who believe in Him. Because He gives them His unique life, believers will share His triumph over death (see 1 John 5:11-12). Death has no power over those who believe in Jesus because they have received Him (Life) and His life is greater than death, (see 1 Corinthians 15:53-57).
Death is no obstacle to Jesus, but neither is time. The I AM ever lives in the present. Outside Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus said, Lazarus, come forth! And in obedience to the Word of the Lord, Lazarus came out, (see John 11:43). It’s one thing to claim to be the resurrection and the life, but Jesus proved it by raising Lazarus, who had been dead for four days. With Jesus, death is only like sleep (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13). Because He lives, we will also live. Because He is Life, we have the same eternal life within us.
Jesus’ statement that He is the resurrection and the life provides a godly perspective on other spiritual matters. Martha believed the resurrection was an event. Jesus said Resurrection is a Person. Martha perceived resurrection as an abstract idea. Jesus proved that eternal life flows from a personal relationship with Him. Martha thought victory over death was something in her distant future. Jesus showed, by His presence and the I AM name, that victory over death is a present reality in Him.
He Has or He Is
Jesus doesn’t just have what we need. To think of Him in those terms is to lessen Who and what He is. Thinking in that way places Him on our level. We have things and we give them. In contrast, He IS what we need; everything we need. An extension of this thought applies to two other areas of life.
First, it applies to our worship. The Greatest Commandment is our mandate to worship Him because He is the only One worthy of it. And He gives to us out of Who He is. So my (your) response of worship (my offering) should never be limited to something i have. I give to Him in the way He gives to me. I am the offering He desires. What I have is just part of giving myself to Him.
Second, eternal life is in view. Where and/or what is heaven? Is heaven a place? It is a place because Scripture speaks of it in those terms. But think about hell. It’s also a place, but the most striking part of it is the absence of God. It is eternal separation from Him. Those cast there experience eternal existence, but not eternal life.
So the reality of heaven is the presence of Jesus! And the I AM reveals Himself to us in ways that tell us we don’t have to wait until heaven to experience His life. He came that we might have life (now and in the future) and have it more abundantly!
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS – Big EquipUs announcement coming Monday! And one more thing – I am trying to help a mission volunteer reach the mission field in November. If you’d like to help, just click the DONATE button.