When God revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush, Moses asked God His name. The Lord responded, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14).
Jesus repeatedly referred to Himself by “I am” to communicate that He was God the Son: “I am the Son of God” (John 10:36). “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:14). “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). “I am the bread of life (John 6:35). “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:13). “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).
In preparation for Easter, I was reading about the betrayal of Christ. “Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons” (John 18:3-4). Jesus asked them who they wanted, and they replied, Jesus of Nazareth. “I am He,” Jesus said. When Jesus said, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:3-5).
Think about this! A Roman battalion of about 600 armed soldiers and officers from the chief priest and Pharisees, came to arrest Jesus. All Christ said was, “I am He.” Then everyone falls to the ground! Put yourself in the sandals of one of those soldiers. You are a trained, professional soldier in one of the most ruthless and successful armies in all history. You are on the alert, ready to capture just one man. He utters three words, and the next thing you know, you and 599 of your closest buddies in the army are all on the ground! What would you think? What would do?
Here is what struck me: In an instant, Jesus could have destroyed all those coming to arrest, beat and crucify Him. But because He loved them, you and me, He was willing to die on the cross so that we could spend eternity with Him. We can rejoice because we are loved by the Creator of the universe.
Warmly in Christ,