August 7, 2016

“I Am”

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Written By Don R. Patton

Jesus had been betrayed and arrested. The religious leaders of the Jews were determined to convict Him of blasphemy, a capital offence.

“Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they were not finding any. For many were giving false testimony against Him, but their testimony was not consistent.” (Mark 14:55-56).

Their proceedings had trampled multiple requirements of the law, but there were certain specifications that even this murderous mob could not ignore. The law demanded that accusations be proved. A plurality of consistent witnesses was required.

“A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.” (Deuteronomy 19:15)

The determined efforts of the Counsel were not working. So, they began to grill Jesus Himself.

“But He kept silent and did not answer,” (Mark 14:61). He conducted Himself just as Isaiah had foreseen.

“And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

It was a brilliant defense. They were effectively stymied. He knew that. He knew they knew that. But, He intentionally sacrificed Himself. He surrendered to their bloodthirsty hatred.

“Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ‘Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? And Jesus said, ‘I am’…” (Mark 14:61-62)

“…the high priest said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? “You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?” And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.” (Mark 14:63-64)

They no longer needed to seek witnesses. They all witnessed His confession. Now, they are all witnesses.

This was not the first time He had identified Himself as divine. On an earlier occasion in Jerusalem, He had told the Pharisees:

“I am from above:…I am not of this world… Therefore…unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” ( John 8:23-24)

The word “He” in the phrase translated, “I am He,” is not in the Greek original. The addition of “He” obscures the implication made clear just a few verses later. “Before Abraham was, I am,” (John 8:58). In verse 24 Jesus is saying, “I am eternal,” and He is saying you must believe I am eternal, (therefor divine) or you will be lost.

This is the truth He confessed in the presence of the Sanhedrin. Therefore, “they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.” (Mark 14:64). If He was not the divine Christ, then He had committed the capital crime of blasphemy and they were required by law to sentence Him to death (Leviticus 24:16). It necessarily follows, from the position of many “liberal Christians” who deny His divinity (as Bill O’Reilly), that under Jewish law, Jesus was “deserving of death.”

The “I AM” concept resonated with the Jewish leaders who knew the scriptures. Jesus acknowledged, “You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life…,” (John 5:39). They knew the story of Moses at the burning bush. He did not understand who was speaking to him. So, God explained.

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM that I AM.’ And he said, ‘You must say this to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ 15 God also said to Moses, ‘You must say this to the Israelites, ‘The LORD–the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14-15)

Our Lord Jesus Christ is, always has been and always will be.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end!” (Revelation 22:13)

 

 

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