Exodus 3:14 —God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.
John 1:1-2 —“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
John 8:58 —“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!”
It is hard to wrap your head around the climactic celebration that is Easter weekend while in physical isolation from the people you would normally celebrate alongside. Our church body gathered the best way that we knew how: in our families, online with all the other families that call SouthRidge home. As Brent said on Sunday, it isn’t the same as all of us gathered in a room together. All of that being said, Jesus still rose from the dead, having made a public spectacle of the powers and authorities of darkness on the cross, and is seated on the throne of power with all things given into His hands.
This is a wake up call for all people, and most of all, all followers of Jesus to RESET. To come back to the foundational things of who Jesus was and is today.
In this time of uncertainty, we can easily reach out and grab ahold of things around us or things fed to us as the foundation we build our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical life on. As many things we normally relied on to give us meaning, purpose, and passion are taken way; that space is not left empty, it is filled with something. The situation we find ourselves in demands a response beyond survival. It demands more than riding it out or mailing it in. This is a wake up call for all people, and most of all, all followers of Jesus to RESET. To come back to the foundational things of who Jesus was and is today.
The reason for this is because we can so easily wander into a faith defined by apathy rather than zeal, especially when the normal means to expressing that faith have been changed or taken away entirely. We also know that this doesn’t stop at you, but extends to every person in your household. The world we knew before will not be the same when this is over, and neither should we! We believe the family is the most crucial small group in all of life, so we want to press in.
This coming Sunday we will be kicking off a church wide series called RESET focusing on the I AM statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John.
I AM the bread of life
I AM the light of the world
I AM the gate for the sheep
I AM the good shepherd
I AM the resurrection and the life
I AM the way, the truth and the life
I AM the true vine
These I AM statements are descriptions of who Jesus is and what He is like. They are a set of attributes. As we understand more, we will also begin to know who we are and what we are to be like.
There is another significant moment in John where Jesus uses these words, but in a different form, in the form of the name “I AM.” This is found in John 8:58 and echo’s back to the beginning of the book (John 1:1-2) and even further to the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 3:14). This “I AM” statement establishes Jesus’ identity as the one true God, the one who was, and is and is to come. When we know who Jesus is, repent of our sin and believe in Him, we can then take on the attributes He speaks of.
I think that it is fitting that we follow the same pattern as the exodus story. The Israelites partook in the first passover and were delivered by God and led to a place where they could better know the God who had delivered them. We too, after celebrating our passover lamb in Jesus and His deliverance of us from satan, sin and death, will now set out to know that same God even more in the weeks to come.
Written by Ben Kirlik ~ Director of Youth and Young Adults