At our church we’ve begun a seven-week series concluding on Resurrection Sunday (April 1) entitled “I AM — on the way to Jerusalem.”
This series is based on the seven “I AMs” that Jesus declares about Himself found in John’s Gospel, and provides not only a “progressive revelation” of who Jesus is and offers to us, but also ways in which we can apply the seven “I AMs” in our own journey toward the eternal Jerusalem (heaven).
In the order that Jesus declares them in John’s Gospel, we learn that He is “The Bread of Life” (6:35-58), “The Light of the World” (8:12; 9:5), “The Gate for the Sheep” and “The Good Shepherd” (10:1-18), “The Resurrection and the Life” (11:1-26), “The Way, the Truth and the Life” (14:1-7), and “The True Vine” (15:1-8).
There is not enough space to expound on the full meanings and applications of the seven “I AMs” here, but in short, we come to know and experience Jesus as food for our souls;
Light, insight and understanding in a world of darkness and confusion; the Only Entry into the “fold of God”, as well as the Only Guide and Protector Who lays down His life for the sheep; the Only One with Power over life and death; the Only Way to the Father and Truth, and (for good measure, a reminder) of being the Only Source of true and eternal life; and finally — as the True Vine — the True Source of Life that offers a connection with us, through which we receive His very own life and power, in order to bear His fruit!
Beyond this short summary, let me encourage you to read these declarations for yourself, and ask God to give you understanding about them, and how they apply in your daily life. You might even want to “adopt” one for each day of the week (since there are seven), and repeat them each week until Resurrection Sunday (if not beyond).
In a broader, long-term application, going through this short-term discovery will enable you — for the rest of your own “Journey to Jerusalem” — to experience a deeper reality of who Jesus is — in you and through you — each day, and in every circumstance of life you find yourself in. I pray that you will accept this invitation to “walk with the Great I AM”, and that you will find JOY in the journey!
Jon Pomeroy is pastor at the Sandpoint Church of God.