Who is Jesus Christ ?

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou are not yet 50 years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.

Then took they up stones to cast at him, but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple…

Why did the Jews suddenly take up stones to throw at Jesus ?

Well, their law provided for death by stoning for certain offences against their religion.

Blasphemy was one.

And that was what Jesus had just committed.

He had claimed to be their God.

Abraham was the forefather of all Jews and had lived many centuries before the time of Christ and the Roman occupation of the Jewish homeland.

In the course of this conversation between Jesus and certain Jews recorded here in the Gospel of John chapter 8, various things had been said.

The conversation had moved on to Abraham, and Jesus mentioned the words we have cited here. Abraham rejoiced to see my day and was glad.

How could Jesus know this ? There was no record of any such thing in their scriptures, and Jesus could not possibly have lived in the time of Abraham.

So they quizzed Jesus on this assertion about what Abraham saw and felt.

His reply shocked them.

Before Abraham was, I AM.”

“I AM” was the name by which God had revealed himself to Moses the Jews great leader centuries before. [Exodus chapter 3, verse 14]

Jesus now used this unique,  emphatic and indisputable title of God for himself.

The title is philosophically poignant.

I AM says it all.

There is no future and there is no past for God because God is present at all times. He is the fundamentally existent One.

To be present at all times, he must necessarily know all things at all times, and he must necessarily be all powerful – and  one with final authority in all things.

How could he exist without beginning and end if he did not have infinite power and indeed authority ?

Impossible !

Moreover the title speaks not only of the essential nature of God, but it states his nature and existence without any attempt to explain or justify himself.

He simply is, because HE IS !

So when Jesus used the title, he made clear WHO HE WAS AND IS.

He is fully God, yet was evidently God in human form.

Jesus Christ was God identifying himself with the limitations and the temptations of mere mortal men.

Yet God.

He had to be God and he had to become a man.

One reason was identification.

But another was critical to the meaning of his death on the cross and that was that he was the perfect man.

Therefore he was the perfect, once for all sacrifice for our sins. [see Hebrews].

In the Jewish ritual, a year old un-blemished lamb had to be brought at Passover, and its annual commemoration in Jersualem.

Unblemished, ie pure, in order to be the substitute whose blood was split on behalf of those who are guilty and should themselves take the punishment.

When the Jews fled Egypt after 4 centuries of slavery, they had to smear the  blood of such a lamb or goat on the door-posts of their homes. The reason was that the angel of death which smote the first born of the Egyptians would then pass over the Jewish homes, not entering to strike dead the eldest Jewish child.

The death of Christ at the Passover feast was therefore a powerful illustration to the Jews in their terms and in their culture of Christ as their passover lamb, crucified  to assuage the anger of a pure and righteous God.

God himself come in the flesh to be the sacrifice on our behalf, to take the punishment and penalty of our sinfulness upon himself so that we could be forgiven and escape the just penalty of God’s righteous anger.

It is therefore a travesty of who Jesus is and what he did to try to explain this away in sentimental human terms.

Or to present Jesus Christ as some sort of panacea – some all embracing answer – to all our ills. One whom we can take or reject, as we please.

Yes, we can reject – and God has allowed that to us.

But when we do, we defy the direct command of God to repent and obey Jesus Christ.

Because Jesus Christ is God in flesh who by his act on the cross bought us for himself.

The blasphemy, then, is to reject Christ.

To reject what God has done for us.

To reject the spiritual truth and to live instead in sin.

God now commands all men, everywhere, to repent !

Thus the apostle Paul, Acts 17, 30/31

By Christianity

The personal icon photograph shows God's creation, the world. It reminds us that God is the Creator of all - the almighty, the all knowing and all present - the one who is most important of all. The one to whom we owe all, and the one to whom we will answer for all. The site's header image of the Bible [King James Authorised Version], a map, a light and a compass represent to us that God's word in the Bible is our spiritual map, illumination and guide through this life. Those who obey his teaching will know his presence and power - Gospel of John, chapter 14, verse 23

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