If we read through the first chapter of John we’ll discover it’s the only Gospel that speaks of Jesus Christ’s eternal existence rather than just the time He spent on earth. This verse especially can be difficult to comprehend…for it tells us that the majesty and power behind all things came to earth… willingly becoming a man of flesh and blood … taking on human nature…thus subject to all human feelings, emotions, suffering and mortality. God the Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem mankind from the bondage of sin and death…to take our place and thus bridge the gap between a holy God and a sinful world. And it is only through Him that we can have eternal life, for Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Here Simon Peter was boldly speaking to the gathered crowd of curious onlookers on the Day of Pentecost. But what was the reason for his fearless and passionate speech?…he had seen the Lord. For it tells us in Luke 24:36 that the resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples. They touched Him, ate with Him, and were never the same after witnessing the once lifeless body of their Lord now alive. You can travel around the world and visit the tombs of other great religious leaders…but there is only one that is unoccupied…the empty tomb of Jesus Christ.
It could have been me doubting the unbelievable story the women were recounting about the empty tomb, the angels, and their words – “He is Risen!” Now we usually just give the apostle Thomas the bad rap of doubting the resurrection…but in Luke 24: 9-11 it tells us that when the women came back from the empty tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others…but no one believed them, for their words seemed like nonsense. How many times had Jesus told the apostles about what was to happen? How He must suffer, die, and then be raised from the dead three days later. Still they did not believe it when it really happened. Yes, I could have easily been among those doubters when the words, “He is risen!” echoed across that room.
What does it mean to you to be born again? Maybe it’s been a long time since you even thought about it, especially if you’ve been a Believer for years. When you said “Yes” to Jesus, you underwent spiritual rebirth. What was once corruptible became incorruptible, and passed from death unto life. When we are born again, all is made new…for by God’s great mercy and the sacrificial blood of Christ, we are saved from our sins. To be born again means we are truly a new person standing before God…righteous and blameless in His sight.
More than a dozen times in the New Testament Chapter of John, Jesus makes the statement, “I am.” Jesus asserts He is – the light of the world, the bread of life, the good shepherd, the resurrection and the life, the way, the truth and the life, and so forth. But also in John 8:58 He states, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” In other words, Jesus is telling us, “I’ve always been.” This timelessness of existence then shows – all these declarations Jesus made to us in John were in place long before the beginning of time…And that each assertion is as enduring as He is.