I AM (Pt. 5)

The next 7 I am sI AM declaration by Jesus is the prelude to a bold, audacious, astounding miracle! A direct action by Jesus, not just words! Which reminds me of something Jesus said to the Pharisees in a previous exchange with them. (John 10:31-38) They were upset with him and about to stone him for things He had said. His response?

If I am not doing my Father’s works, don’t believe me. But if I am doing them and you don’t believe me, believe the works.”   

If you can’t believe what I say, believe what you see I am doing!

And then He gave them another miracle to scratch their heads over and ponder!

A man named LAZARUS is raised from the dead.

Before you just write that off as myth, consider the fact that the men used (by God) to write these accounts, did so to their own peril. They wrote of what they had been witnesses of, they spoke of what they had been witnesses of and the majority of them died for that very reason. And hInvited inundreds of thousands since then have done the same. Perhaps it is more than a myth!

Now Jesus had spent time in the home of Lazarus and his 2 sisters Martha and Mary on more than one occasion.  At the time of Lazarus’s death, Jesus was in another city. The sisters sent word to Him of their brother’s  illness most likely with the assumption that Jesus would heal him as he did so many others.  Jesus had a bigger agenda though. He stayed away on purpose until Lazarus had passed away, and been laid to rest. Giving enough time that there was no doubt the life was gone from his body.

This account is found in John 11. Upon Jesus’ return to their city Martha learns of his arrival and meets him on the way. In her grief she exclaims her belief that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died for surely Jesus would have healed him. Let’s listen in to the conversation, (John 11:21-27)

Martha: “But even now I know whatever you ask of God, God will give you.”

Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’

Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’  Drum roll – here it comes!!John 11 25

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.

After a few more exchanges with others Jesus prays to the Father then cries out with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come forth!”

And the dead man came out…

I AM the Resurrection and the Life.

Not just life on this earth. Yes, Lazarus was raised to life on earth, that wasn’t his final resurrection for he did eventually die again- to live forever. A great object lesson preparing the hearts of the people for what Jesus had been telling them about Himself.

Mark 8:31 “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” And Mark 9:31, Mark 10:34, Matthew 20:19, 26:2

The power of death was negated by the power of Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection power is the great exclamation point to God’s love for us. How far He is willing to go to find and save his lost sheep. The Good Shepherd willingly gives up His Life that we, His sheep,  may have life. Eternal, spiritual life in HIS presence.

Life and death hang in the balance of your belief about this man Jesus. Which way will the balance sway when your day arrives?

Have you responded to the Shepherd’s call to enter through the gate into His fold that you too may experience this resurrection power to eternal life?

 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: 

Shell Sig“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?

    O death, where is your sting?

Until next time

 

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I AM (Pt. 4)

In the last post it was established that Jesus was using a parable about sheep and shepherds7 I am s to teach a life lesson focusing on the gate to a sheep fold. Today, we focus on the shepherd as Jesus declares: “I AM the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

Good shepherd indicates there are others who may not be so good. He goes on to explain that anyone other than the shepherd will most likely John 10-11run away in the face of danger rather than protecting the flock.  After all, they’re just hired hands, the sheep do not belong to them.  Therefore, they would not risk their own lives to save them. But the shepherd to whom the sheep belong WILL risk his life for them.

In contrast to a hired hand paid to do a job. Jesus came voluntarily to give His life.

John 10-18

We know on this side of the cross that the implication was that He was going to be the sacrifice for the sin of the world, the sin of the people then within hearing distance, the sin of you and me today.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29

Remember, the Jewish people of that time knew about the sacrificial system. The regulations that had been set in motion by God Himself after delivering Israel from the bondage of Egypt. Written about in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. Now this man called Jesus is saying that He was going to give up his life as the sacrifice for sin for His people to do away with the sacrificial system.  With His sacrifice it would no longer be needed. This would be AN ASTOUNDING declaration to be heard by the Jewish People.

The Good Shepherd would become the Lamb of sacrifice on the altar to save all who are lost in sin.

Which covers us all. For As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:10,23

The Good Shepherd is willing to do whatever it will take to save and secure His flock. Even if it meant hanging on a cross until death overtook him and he was laid in a tomb. Because HE knew – HE knew death had no power over Him. He would not remain in the tomb but would rise up in new life to do the same for those who come to God by Him.

And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. I Corinthians 16:4
For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. II Corinthians 13:4

Jesus, The GOOD SHEPHERD. My Shepherd. I hope he is yours as well for no other will do for you what He has done.

Bold, audacious and astounding declarations made by Jesus? Absolutely! More wondrously – HE HAS delivered on eaShell Sigch one. 

Still 3 more declarations to look at. Until next time may the joy of the Lord be your strength.

 

I AM (Pt. 3)

So today7 I am s we’re looking at John 10:9 when Jesus declares: “I AM the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture.”

On the surface this one doesn’t seem quite as  bold a declaration as the first 2 but let’s hold that thought in check.

A gate is Continue reading “I AM (Pt. 3)”

I AM (Pt. 2)

Going forward from the last post wondering about this 7 I am s
man who is celebrated this time of year as one risen from the dead. In this post we’ll continue on in the book of John to a second  ‘I AM’ statement Jesus made about himself. Again a bold declaration! That HE is the light of the world. How audacious of Him. Continue reading “I AM (Pt. 2)”

The I AM

I think I miss writing. Perhaps Easter is a good time to begin ablog picgain. Who is this man who is celebrated at this time as one risen from the dead?

In seeking a direction I came across something written last year
at this time as I was going through a study entitled  The God Questions by Hal Seed.

An interesting question was posed: What does it mean to ‘know’ someone? Continue reading “The I AM”

2016 Full Ahead

A good reminder for January. God is not just the God of the past, and present but the future as well. He knows where we are and the path we are headed down.

He Journal 2016has seen it before we even knew it would be a part of our life.

Doesn’t that just boggle the mind? !!

In Deuteronomy 31:8 Moses reminded the Israelites, ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neithDo not be afraider fail you nor abandon you.’
He goes before us – obstacles are removed, or maybe even allowed to stay in
place, as He knows best what is needed to accomplish His end goal. And even when…

(for He knows we will at some point for he knows we are but dust)…

when we take a turn, or jog that He hadn’t desired for us to take….

EVEN THERE…wherever the ‘there’ might be,

…shall his right hand lead me.    (Psalm 139:10)

Trusting in Him is always a ‘win-win’ for us. So we can ‘fear not, neither be dismayed.’ No matter what circumstances may look like to us. Our responsibility is always just to believe. He does go before us, He is WITH us, and He will not fail us, nor forsake us.

Whatever situation you may face this year He sees how all is going to play out – He IS with you, He will NOT fail you, nor forsake you. Therefore, do not fear, or be discouraged.

“He cannot have taught us to trust in His name and

thus far have brought us to bring us to shame.”  Newton

Thank you Lord, for the encouraging reminder for another new year that is sure to be full of new unknowns – decisions to be made and changes to be faced.

Direct your gaze upon Him and see what He will do.

 

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