"The name of The Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." Proverbs 18:10
Jesus Christ "The Great I AM"
In John chapter 8 we see a series of questions and challenges by the Pharisees in their fruitless effort to test Him and show Him up. Throughout the chapter we see them bragging about having Abraham as their father. Finally Jesus says to them, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?" John 8:56-57. Jesus answers this question in a most amazing way. "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM." John 8:58
The Old Testament reveals God as The Great "I AM" (Exodus 3:14). The New Testament reveals Jesus as The Great "I AM", "The Self Sufficient One"; Eternal: "I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith The Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, The Almighty I AM Alpha and Omega, the first and the last..." Revelation 1:8,11 (compare with Isaiah 44:6); Unchanging: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." Hebrews 13:8 (compare with Malachi 3:6); and active with The Father as Creator from the beginning: "In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3.
The Apostle John reveals Jesus Christ as The Great "I AM" in a unique way by recording some of the most beautiful visual statements that Jesus made concerning Himself and how He relates to those who believe in Him:
"And Jesus said unto them, I AM the Bread of Life, he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." John 6:35. The children of Israel had been led out of bondage and in order to care for their hunger in the wilderness God provided bread from heaven (manna) on a daily basis. Our Lord Jesus Christ is our source of spiritual food on a daily basis. He alone can satisfy that empty feeling deep within our soul and spirit. With Him we need never hunger in our spirit again.
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world; he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12. Jesus Christ is the quality of enviorment that makes vision possible. Without Him we would never have known God but through Him we see all of the character of Love, Mercy, Grace, Forgiveness, Power, and Life that God is; "...he that hath seen Me hath seen The Father..." John 14:9.
The Psalmist declared, "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105. We need never walk in darkness as His child; stumbling about not knowing which direction to go. He is our light; perhaps not to see the entire path laid out for us to travel, but always enough to take one step at a time.
"I AM the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." John 10:9. He is The Door, the entry way to all that God has for us. It is not enough to stand and admire how beautiful the door is, or to stand and wonder if you belong inside. "Any" man or women is welcome to open The Door by faith and come inside to the place of salvation where your sins are forgiven and remembered no more; Isaiah 43:25. As His children we are not of this world, but we are sent by Him into it (John 17:16-18). Beyond The Door we find that place of safety we need. We also find all of the resources we need in the fruit of The Spirit and in the spiritual armour laid out for us to go 'out' to take our stand and win the victory in the world. And He is always with us to help us find the place of pasture; that place of nourishment and peace in the midst of any storm.
"I AM The Good Shepherd; The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep." John 10:11. He is our Shepherd; always with us, always providing, always protecting, always guiding with gentleness and love. He is not as a hireling that will run away and leave the sheep at the first sign of trouble. He is The Good Shepherd that gave His life for you. Because of Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd, we can truly say with King David, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of The Lord for ever." Psalm 23:6.
"I AM the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11:25. Jesus was bringing comfort to Martha, the sister of Lazarus, who had just died. "Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I AM the Resurrection ." John 11:23-25. Martha believed in 'a resurrection', Jesus Christ is "The Resurrection". The Resurrection is the center piece of the Gospel (read 1 Corinthians 15:1-20). As The Good Shepherd He gave His life for us. As The Resurrection He victoriously conquered death and the grave and through Him we now have the same hope of Resurrection and Eternal Life. You are an eternal being. Eternal Life, however, is not a quantity, but a quality. It will be a 'forever life' with Him full of praise and worship, joy and peace, love and fulfillment. All of the troubles of this life will pass away. Trust me; 1000 years from now you'll be laughing about all of them as you sing praises to Jesus Christ, The Resurrection and The Life, Who carried you through them all!
"I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life; no man cometh unto The Father, but by Me." John 14:6. He is the only way to God. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12. If there had been any other price for God to pay to restore you to Him, He certainly would have paid it. But the only price that could purchase your salvation was the death of His Precious Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. And The Father pictured you in His mind and said, "You are worth it!" How great is His love for you! Through Jesus Christ, and only through Him, are we restored to a relationship with The Father and adopted by Him as His little child, "Whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Romans 8:15.
"I AM The Vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:5. In Isaiah 5:1-7 we find God's Word painting a picture of Israel as His vineyard, planted with the choicest vine. But when He looked for the good grapes that He created it to bear, He only found wild grapes. Israel had been chosen by God; blessed and taken care of by Him to be a beacon to the world of His Glory and Majesty. But the nation of Israel failed miserably. But God had a plan for a New Covenant. The Old Covenant called for man to bear good fruit first (through adherence to the law) in order to find favor with God. But The New Covenant, through Jesus Christ, brings us into favor with God first (Grace) so that we are now able to bring forth the good fruit that glorifies Him. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto (for the purpose of) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. No more must we struggle outwardly to create inward change for, in being grafted to Christ The Vine by faith in Him, we have become a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) where He has performed the inward change that we can then bear much fruit outwardly for His Glory. Without The Vine we can do nothing, but in Him we "can do all thing through Christ which strenghteneth me." Philippians 4:13.
"I AM Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith The Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, The Almighty." Revelation 1:8. Your life story as a child of God is written by Jesus Christ, for He is "The author and finisher of our faith " Hebrew 12:2. It is a story in which The Great "I AM", Jesus Christ, is the center. The "I AM" Who has given you eternal life; the entry way into all of God's blessings; the "I AM' Who satisfies all of your spiritual hunger, guides you each step of the way, and watches over you as a shepherd over his precious flock. He is the "I AM" in Whom you can do all things to bring Glory and Honor and Praise unto The Father. The Great "I AM", Jesus Christ, is not just the center of your 'story'; HE IS YOUR STORY, from beginning to ending .The Alpha and the Omega. Let Him sing His song through you.
Grace, Mercy, and Peace be yours now and forever.