WHO IS JESUS?
We desire to make much of our Lord and Savior Jesus. He is our all in all, our reason for life, hope and joy. Everything we are draws from our identity in Christ and all we do springs forth from our relationship with Him: His life. His death. His resurrection.
No other person in history has been as loved or despised as Jesus. It seems as though everyone has an idea of who Jesus is, but are these assumptions correct? We at Anthem believe that knowing Jesus is more simple than most people realize. Jesus defined Himself through seven “I AM” statements from the book of John.
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE
This is the first of the seven statements that Jesus proclaimed about Himself in the book of John. Each one of His “I AM” statements communicate to us who Jesus is and what roles He longs to play in our lives. Here we see that Jesus likens Himself to our spiritual food. We believe that only through a relationship with Jesus can a person feel truly full and satisfied. Have you ever experienced that gratifying sensation of fullness after a wonderful meal? Jesus is offering us that joy, that fullness, that contentment in a profound way as we learn to trust in Him to quench our spiritual hunger and thirst. Unlike physical food that doesn’t keep us full for long, Jesus promises to satisfy us forever! Once we partake in Jesus, our search for spiritual fulfillment comes to an end.
I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
In this “I AM” statement, Jesus draws on the illustration of spiritual light and darkness. Have you ever tried to find your way in the dark? It is often confusing, scary, and even hazardous as we stumble around unseeing. Here, Jesus is offering to light up our way! His illumination expels our own darkness of sin, as well as illuminates the path toward life – Jesus!
As we follow Jesus, He brings us into His light so that we never again have to stumble around, lost and afraid. The light of Jesus allows us to see ourselves as we truly are; it illuminates the world around us in ways we never could have imagined. This invitation of Light is extended to all.
I AM THE DOOR
In His third “I AM” statement, Jesus doesn’t claim to be a door, instead He tells us that He is the door. From this declaration we understand Jesus is the only entrance into an intimate relationship with God.
The world offers many doors promising a pathway to God. Yet, we believe Jesus alone offers new life with the promise that once we have entered, we will immediately enjoy genuine access to God based on His merciful invitation and not on our performance.
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Jesus, in this “I AM” statement, refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd in order for us to understand more of His nature. Shepherds are responsible for the care and safety of their flock. They protect sheep from the danger of harsh conditions, starvation, even physical threat to their lives. Occasionally, a shepherd will risk his life to guarantee the safety of an animal under his care, but that level of sacrifice is rare.
When describing Himself as the Good Shepherd, we find Jesus portrayed as a loving God who willingly laid down His own life that we may be saved from death.
I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
Not only did Jesus lay down His life for us when He died on the cross, He was also raised from the dead. That’s what it means to be resurrected. When Jesus rose from the grave, He broke the barrier that exists between life and death. Now we are offered that same experience. The only requirement is to believe Jesus is the Son of God who laid down His life and was raised again.
Death is not the end of life, instead for all those who would simply believe, we are assured an eternal existence.
I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE
In the midst of a world turning to other gods and various idols Jesus makes a powerful statement here. He says He is the only way, the origin of truth and the only source of abundant life. Things in this world are no different than they were 2000 years ago when Jesus walked this earth. Many are turning to all sorts of things hoping to find truth believing that there are numerous ways to God.
We affirm Jesus’ statement and wholeheartedly believe that there are no other roads leading to God except through Jesus. In Him we find life far beyond life as we know it here on earth, however, we are also empowered through Him to live for Him and make Him known here and now.
I AM THE VINE
In Jesus’ previous “I AM” statements, He focuses on the fact that He is a life-giver and invites those that do not know Him to come into relationship Him. Jesus provides a way of escape or a rescue from the storm. In this “I AM” statement, Jesus now begins talking to those who already know Him and His challenge is that we would remain in Him.
As followers of Jesus our lives depend on Him. We are connected to God in the same way that fruit, growing from a branch, is connected to a tree. Jesus is the vine that is attached to God our Father, the only source that can sustain us. When we are in relationship with Jesus and thus connected to the vine, our lives then begin to bear fruit, we begin to reflect the ONE in whom we are attached, enabling us to lead others to the vine that they may find their way to God.
How do I begin a relationship with Jesus?
Knowing about Jesus and “knowing” Jesus are two different things. Many in this world know about Him. Some may even believe that He was a good person or a prophet but few will go as far as to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, and desire to begin a personal relationship with Him.
You may be new to all of this and wondering, “What’s Next?” or “I want to start this relationship with Jesus, what do I do?”
The Bible says in Romans 10:9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Salvation isn’t about rules or religion; it’s about a personal relationship with the God who created this world. It is His desire to have a love relationship with every one of us. But, mankind has a problem: our sinfulness keeps us hopelessly broken and separated from a holy God. Thankfully, there’s a solution!
God the Father sent His only Son Jesus, into the world to be born of a virgin, live a sinless life, and suffer execution upon a cross that He might be the Perfect Sacrifice to pay the price for our sins.
Upon acknowledging that Jesus was who He said He was and receiving His forgiveness, mercy, and grace, you can “know” Him intimately.
If you are interested in making this decision, you don’t need to pray a special prayer or have the right words to recite…you simply need to call upon Jesus and confess Him as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead; the rest has been done for you. At that moment, God gives YOU the same resurrection Life that raised Jesus from the dead. Living in the world we do, who wouldn’t want to experience the life-changing transformation of a loving, forgiving Savior.
If you have made a decision to follow Jesus right now and would like somebody to talk with about this decision, please fill out the form below.
We have also provided links to a Bible app for your phone/computer and a 21-day reading through the book of John to get you started. Now that you have made your decision to follow Him, spend some time reading the Bible so that you can learn more and experience all that God has to offer you through His word.