Scriptures

‘I AM’ The Resurrection And The Life

Introduction

Jesus Christ! The great ‘I AM’ The significance of ‘I AM’

‘Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your Fathers has sent me to you’ and they ask me, ‘what is his name?’ ‘What shall I say to them?’ And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’. And he said, ‘Say to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:13-14.

‘I AM EHYEH’ first singular present of TO BE. HAYAH denotes that God is personal, eternal, self-existent i.e. absolute being.

1. Eternal.

Psalm 135:13 ‘Thy name, of YHWH, endures for ever, the renown, o YHWH, throughout all ages’.

2. Self-existent.

Psalm 88:6-7 ‘For who in the skies can be compared to YHWH? who among the heavenly beings is like YHWH, God feared in the council of the holy ones, great and terrible above all that are round about him?’

Then God, having revealed to Moses some essential aspects of His (God’s) personality informs Moses of the name by which He (God) wants to be known. God also said to Moses,

‘Say this to the people of Israel, ‘YHWH the God of your fathers, has sent me to you, this is my name for ever and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.’ Exodus 3:75 / Psalm 135:13

YAHWEH plural form

Genesis 1:26, ‘Then God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness’.

The plural in the name YHWH, us and our, can in my opinion be regarded as an indication of the plurality of God’s nature and character, of which the Son and the Holy Spirit are part; three distinct persons who can act individually though never in disharmony and who are united in the godhead as one God. That the Spirit i.e. the force of God was there at creation is clear,

‘and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters’. Genesis 1:2

That through Jesus all came into being is stated in John 1:1-3.

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God with God. All things were made through Hem and without Him was not anything made that was made’. John 1:1-3

And,

‘No one has ever seen God, He who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known’. John 1:18

It was through Jesus, i.e. God Himself Incarnate that redemption would be wrought.

The name YHWH meaning ‘the Becoming One’ is the ‘redemptive’ name of God and refers to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ who is in the bosom of the ‘Father’ God; Jesus who is part of the Godhead. When Jesus made Himself equal with God He was merely speaking the truth and had indeed every right to utter the words, ‘I AM’ in such a special way. The Jews understood perfectly well what was alluded to by the term I AM used by Jesus.

‘This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.’ John 5:18 / Leviticus 24:16

Now remember the Bible doesn’t use names for God in the same way as we use names today. God doesn’t have a name as such but He uses certain words to describe His character or nature.

For example, the word El-Shaddai describes His nature as the all sufficient one, the all-powerful One. The word Adonia describes His character as Lord, Master, the One with all authority. The word Yahweh describes His nature as the everlasting, self-existing One.

And so when God speaks to Moses, He is not giving Moses a name as we understand it. But He’s telling Moses to tell His people that Yahweh, ‘I AM THAT I AM’, the self-existing One has sent you. God is basically saying to Moses I don’t need a name but I will give you one to tell my people.

Now remember the Israelites have been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years and so God goes on to say in Exodus 3:15 just in case my people have forgotten who ‘I AM’, tell them

‘The LORD, (The One with all authority), the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob has sent me to you.’

Now let’s fast forward a couple of thousand years. We know that the Gospel according to Matthew focuses a lot on prophecy where Matthew points out time and time again that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The Gospel according to Mark focuses a lot on Jesus’ miracles and Mark uses the word ‘immediately’ regularly.

The Gospel according to Luke focuses a lot on Jesus’ humanity and shows Jesus as being the Son of man. And finally, the Gospel according to John focuses a lot on Jesus being the Son of God which shows the Deity of Christ.

But have you ever wondered why all the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus are found in John’s Gospel?

John writes in John 20:30-31

‘Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name’.

Now John never uses the word miracle in his gospel but he does use the word sign regularly. And there are 16 signs recorded in John’s gospel, 8 are things which Jesus did and 8 were things which Jesus said. John is basically saying that the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus are signs, selected from many other signs. And he says these signs are selected with a purpose in mind and that purpose is that you believe that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be.

And so just as `I AM’ is God’s own identification of Himself in Exodus 3:14 to Moses. Remembering that strictly speaking, it is not a name, but a declaration of His Nature.

When we come to the ‘I AM’ claims of Jesus, we need to remember that Jesus was not giving Himself a Name or a title, but was asserting His Deity. In other words every ‘I AM’ reveals some aspect of His nature and purpose.

‘I AM the resurrection and the life’

The Greek word for resurrection is ‘anastasis’ and is used 40 times in New Testament. Resurrection doesn’t appear in the Old Testament as it wasn’t a part of the covenant with the land. Exodus 20, 5th command, long life in the Promised Land but no afterlife. Psalm 37 speaks about inheriting the earth, this is used 6 times in reference to the land. The Israelites hope was the land.

Jesus spoke about raising from the dead, but notice that His disciples didn’t question Him because they didn’t understand, Mark 9:5 / Mark 9:30. They didn’t know what He meant because it was new.

2 Timothy 1:10 “but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Christ brought life and immortality to light.

Genesis 2:17 says,

‘you shall surely die’,

in the Hebrew text it says,

‘dying you shall surely die’

which means spiritual death and physical death and we know that death means separation and so the process of death physically begun. Romans 3:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death.

In order for a resurrection sin needs to die. Genesis 3:15. Galatians 4:4 talks about the fullness of time, time means an age but time can also mean a moment, precision, right moment as Galatians 4:4 means.

2 Timothy 1:10 the Gospel brought light how? Jesus teaching and His resurrection. John 14:26, The Holy Spirit equipped the apostles to remember and understand. Total recall and understanding, including rising from the dead. 2 Timothy 1:10 says the Gospel brought it to light, remove the midst through the Gospel because the Jews were not sure about immortality. That’s why Jesus says

‘I AM the resurrection and life.’ John 11:25

Psalm 80 says that there is no promise of afterlife until He went to God. In the Old Testament, it was a hope but not really known, it was all about reward and punishment, in the Old Testament this life was everything. Acts 28:23-29 because of the hope of Israel, long life in the Promised Land, He preached what they didn’t expect. Resurrection, they didn’t want to hear this, Jesus the Messiah means no physical inheritance for Israel.

Jesus says the Son of God because of His resurrection, this was the theme of the apostles preaching. John 2:13-22, built the temple in 3 days, some Jews feared the thought of the resurrection, the Sadducees. Matthew 27:62-66, the guards at the tomb, they were preparing just in case.

Revelation 1:5, Firstborn from the dead, Exodus 13:1+2, Pentecost, Exodus 23:14-19, firstfruits, resurrection. Firstfruits of the promise of the harvest to follow, not first to rise from the dead, firstfruits of the believing dead, others to come

1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection. Some thought it had already happened, Matthew 27. Some thought no resurrection, the views of the resurrection but the Sadducees still lingered. Others have faith in the resurrection, no resurrection, your still in your sins, faith a waste of time, never see your loved ones again. 1 Corinthians 15 firstfruits of those who sleep.

Genesis 3:15 we see 3 promises, punishment of sin, promise of redemption and prediction of how it’s going to happen. Christ’s resurrection is the foundation of the Christian faith. Romans 1:15-17, power and resurrection.

He is the resurrection, He is the cause of resurrection

John 6:54 ‘and I will raise him up at the last day.’

Jesus is indeed the cause of resurrection since life is in him.

‘In him (Jesus) was life.’ John 1:4

Hence we can confidently say ‘amen’ to what Paul has to say in his letter to the Romans

‘But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.’ Romans 6:8-9

That Jesus has power over death is clear, even more he has given the ultimate proof of this be virtue of his own resurrection; he is indeed the first-begotten from the dead.

‘But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ 1 Corinthians 15:20

‘He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.’ Colossians 1:18

Those who believe in Christ and keep on believing him in trusting obedience will be raised by him to eternal life and not to condemnation.

‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God, and those who hear will live. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all those who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of judgement.’ John 5:25+28-29

‘He who believes in the Son, has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.’ John 3:36

What an exhortation of love; a love that shows concern for those who do not merit it since we are all sinners. The love is infinite and true indeed!

He is the life and those who are in Christ already have eternal life. Christ Jesus is our life.

‘For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.’ Colossians 3:3-4

‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.’ Romans 8:11

That the life we thus have in Christ is eternal is clearly stated,

‘Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.’ John 8:51 / John 3:16

‘And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord.’ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

All this has been achieved because god Incarnate gave himself for our salvation.

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.’ John 3:16

The second death, i.e. the eternal separation from the presence of God is not for those whose life is hid in God with Jesus. The fact of Christ’s life in glory with the Father is a guarantee of out eternal life.

‘Because I live, you will live also.’ John 14:19

He offers abundant life

As He promised in His discourse as the Good Shepherd, John 10:10-11. Jesus offers a peace the world cannot give, John 14:27 / John 16:33 / Philippians 4:6-7. He gives us His love, which passes knowledge, John 15:10 / Ephesians 3:19. He provides His joy, that is inexpressible, John 15:11 / 1 Peter 1:8.

With such peace, love, and joy, what an abundant life Jesus offers!

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD."

Isaiah 55:8

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