From Praying the Names of Jesus Week Twenty-Six, Day Five
In Jesus we have the richest, most vivid picture of God imaginable. No longer does God seem implacably remote, displeased with the world he has made. Instead, he bends toward us, sharing our weakness and shouldering our burdens. Through the perfect offering of his life he becomes our Way back to the Father. He is the True Vine in which we abide, bearing fruit for God's kingdom. He is the loving God who will never abandon us, but who will be present with us always, leading us to life eternal.
Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, ‘What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" 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.' " Exodus 3:13 - 14
"You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him [Jesus], "and you have seen Abraham!" "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" John 8:57 - 58
Promises Associated with His Name
Of all the promises of Jesus in the Bible none is greater than this: "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die" (John 11:25). If Jesus hadn't made this promise, every other promise would be only a short-term warranty set to expire on our death. His own resurrection forever validates his claims and promises.
Biblical scholar and theologian George Eldon Ladd once remarked about John's account of the resurrection that "it seems to be the evangelist's intention to suggest that Peter saw the grave clothes lying like a chrysalis out of which the risen body of the Lord had emerged." That's a picture we can claim for ourselves — that death for us will be like the butterfly's chrysalis — this life merely a shape we shed when we enter into the life that will never end.
By living and dying to save us, Jesus himself has become the Promise we live by. He is the Truth we stand on, the Bread that nourishes us, the Shepherd who leads us, the Vine that makes us fruitful. He is the Resurrection for which we hope and the Gateway to life eternal. He is all of these things and more — the Almighty, Everlasting God, the One who is the great I AM!
Promises in Scripture
"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask."
Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:21 - 26
Continued Prayer and Praise
Remember that Jesus will never leave us. (Matthew 28:20)
Know that Jesus is God. (Matthew 16:15 - 16; Mark 14:61 - 62)
Realize that Jesus is the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 1:8, 17; 21:6)
For more from Ann Spangler, visit her blogspot on Christianity.com. Be sure to check out Ann's newest book, Praying the Attributes of God: A Daily Guide to Experiencing His Greatness.