Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” -John 11:21-26 NLT
Christmas is a time of hope. Hope because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Jesus brings hope where there is despair, power into difficult situations, and peace that surpasses all understanding. Jesus tells Jesus said “I AM the Resurrection and the Life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” What a blessed hope that we have eternal life and will live forever with Jesus! Hallelujah!
Jesus is our Hope this today. Hope for life, hope for eternal life, and hope for abundant life. Lazarus died and was in the tomb for at least 3 days. Martha met Him and was clearly upset with Jesus. She trusted Him, but wondered why it took so long for Him to return when He knew His friend was ill. She had a good relationship with Jesus and therefore was able to share what was on her heart. Despite the pain that Martha was feeling, she said to Jesus, “I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Martha had faith that Jesus could do what He said He could do. She believed Jesus was the Christ.
Our physical bodies will die, no one can escape that until Christ returns. However, those who believe in Jesus can expect our spiritual souls to never die. Our souls will continue to live on for eternity. Jesus proves His claim to Martha of being the Resurrection and the Life as He raised Lazarus from the dead. He sees her faith and responds out of love for His friend. Mary did not understand either why Jesus did not come sooner, she even declared that Lazarus’ body will be smelling awful and it would not be right to open the tomb. However, Jesus asked several of the people there to open the tomb. He lifted His eyes toward Heaven and prayed a simple prayer and then asked Lazarus to come forth. Lazarus walks out of the tomb to the shock and joy of everyone witnessing what just happened. Of course, we know that later on Lazarus died again, but his spiritual body still lives on.
Jesus brought life into a seemingly hopeless situation. How many times have we prayed for something to happen and it just seems like we are hitting a wall? Jesus changed the life of Lazarus. Jesus was empowered by God the Father and the Holy Spirit; the power raised (power of faith) raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus gives us eternal life, because of His own resurrection. The power of the resurrection is ours; we can seek God to change seemingly impossible situations.
What situations can Jesus’ resurrection power change? Are there areas within our hearts that we need to be recharged? Do we truly believe Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life?
Jesus, thank you so much for your resurrection and life. Thank you for eternal life for those who believe. This Christmas, may I be filled with hope and joy knowing that I am yours and you are mine. May the hope of your resurrection power fill me with exuberant joy. As I share gifts with the ones I love, may I also share your life-giving life. I ask for you to be seen in me so others will want to receive your greatest gift- yourself. I worship you Jesus, the great I AM. You have been, you are, and you will always be the Resurrection and the Life. Amen.
For further study:
Isaiah 25:8; John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:12-58
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 NIV
“You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” -John 8:57-58 NIV
Jesus is I AM. He is complete, one with God, and is God. God is the only one who used the name I AM before Jesus was born. The Hebrew for I AM is Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh (I am, will be what I am, will be). When God told Moses what to tell the people and Pharaoh, he told him to say Ehyeh (I am, I will be) has sent you. God is Living, Almighty, Holy, Ever Present, Ever Powerful, Ever Wise. God is Everlasting, our Creator, our Provider, and our King.
Jesus declared He is indeed I AM. John starts off his gospel with the words “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus was there in the beginning of time, he helped with creation, he saw the fall of man, the flood of Noah’s time, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, and so on. Jesus saw the plight of man and out of love he was sent to earth for us. What an amazing Savior and Friend!
Winds and waves obeyed Jesus. In the middle of the storm with the disciples in the boat, Jesus stood up and calmed the seas. He even walked upon the seas and told Peter, “Don’t be afraid- It is I” translated as “Don’t be afraid- It is I AM.” Demons bowed down to Jesus acknowledging him as “I Am.” When Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane and the people arresting him asked Jesus to identify himself, he declared “It is I, or I AM.” At this, his enemies fell to the ground because they could not stand in the presence of the Almighty God. James said that demons even believe in God, they know Jesus is I AM, they were defeated by Jesus on the cross and in the resurrection and will be finally put in their place when Jesus returns.
No matter what you are facing today, know that I AM is with you. Despite the storms you are in, Jesus calms the storm and if not, he calms your inner soul. I AM is powerful, he is holy, he is almighty, he is God!
I praise you Jesus. You are the great I AM. You created everything around me, you even created me. Great are your works. You were there in the beginning of time and you will be forever more. I praise you for your power over sin, death, storms of life and all that comes against me. I know I am secure in your arms. I know I can trust you and so today, I lean on you. I give myself to go where ever I AM sends me and do whatever I AM tells me to do. Jesus, I AM, I surrender all to you today and forever more. Amen.
For further study:
Matthew 16:15-16; Mark 14:61-62; Revelation 1:8, 17; 21:6
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed. -Daniel 7:13-14 NIV
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. -1 John 4:9-12
Jesus is Divine and he is also human. Often times we miss out the human side when talking about Jesus. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit; he grew within his mother’s womb and came as a baby. Jesus learned how to crawl, speak his first words, take his first steps, and potty train. He went to school, on vacations, and learned a trade (carpentry after his earthly father).
Jesus felt emotions, he laughed, he cried, he knew the loss of friends and surely family members, rejection from even his own family, anger at the temple money changers and anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane. He didn’t float from place to place, he walked everywhere (and he did this without Nike shoes). He felt hunger. He felt fatigue. Jesus felt physical pain. He felt the thorns on his brow, the blows of the whips upon his back, the searing pain of the nails driven into his hands and feet, and his body being pulled up on the cross. Jesus experienced death.
Jesus did all of this so he could understand us better. He came as the Son of Man and gave his all for us so we can have a relationship with him. He knows what you go through on a daily basis. Because he was human, he understands our pains, frustrations, sorrows, joys, and much more. His humanity allowed him to relate to us not just on a spiritual level but on a personal level.
Even though Jesus was human he had 24/7 access to the Father. He had the power of the Holy Spirit living in and through him. Because we are connected to Christ and are God’s sons and daughters, we too can have this same relationship with God. Jesus is the best example we can follow. In his anger he did not sin. In his fatigue, he still managed to have time with his Father in prayer. In his hunger, he shared with others. He was tempted but he overcame the temptations. He suffered rejection but he still had love and compassion for the ones who rejected him.
But you say, Jesus was divine, he could do this. Yes, he could. But I say to you, we can as well because we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us! We have constant access to the Father as Jesus did. When we struggle, we can call upon the name of Jesus and all things are possible! Jesus intercedes for us daily. We are the temple in which the Holy Spirit dwells.
This Christmas, give praise to God for sending Jesus as the Son of Man to understand our humanity and giving us full access to him. Ask him to empower us with the Holy Spirit so we too can live a holy life as Jesus did.
Jesus, Son of Man, it is easy for me to forget your human side. I like to think of you as just divine. I guess it makes it easier to accept the divine because your humanity makes me have to look at my own humanity. I fall so short of your holiness. Help me Jesus to desire to be holy as you are. Help me to tap into the Holy Spirit power that lived inside you on earth. Help me to connect with our Father daily so I can stay in that power. Help me also to know that as you raised from the dead I will too. Jesus, I don’t want to wait until you call me home or you return to start living for you. I want to live for you now. I want to live with power in my life. I want to live victoriously. This Christmas as I remember your gift to me, I give my life back to you as my gift. I love you Jesus. Amen.
For further study:
Galatians 4:4-7; Matthew 12:38-42, 20:20-28, 25:31-33, 26:64; Revelation 1:12-18
Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. -Matthew 16:15-17
The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! So, he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from the cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. The Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” -Matthew 27:41-43,50-54
For the next couple of days, we are going to study about Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man. Today we are going to focus on Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus was divine and human. Jesus is God – holy, pure, powerful, justice, peace, and so much more. Jesus and God are one, a part of the Trinity- God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is not to explain the Trinity- that’s another study in itself.
Because Jesus is fully divine, he was very capable of representing God on earth. Jesus shares God’s nature and intentions- filled with love and compassion for us on earth. During Jesus’ earthly ministry even the demons recognized Jesus as the Son of God.
Jesus asked the disciples who do they say he is, and Peter quickly declared that Jesus is the Son of the Living God. Peter’s eyes were open to the truth that Jesus was indeed divine. Peter of course later on was the father of the church. His faith in the Son of God and the empowering of the Holy Spirit changed this headstrong man into a mighty man of God.
Jesus was crucified because of his declaration as being God’s Son. It is interesting to note from the scripture above the earth shook at the moment Jesus’ died. The curtain of the temple was torn in two, the earth shook, rocks split, and tombs opened with men and women coming back to life. The centurion and those guarding the cross then realized and declared Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus was laid in a tomb and three days later the power of God raised Jesus from the dead!
Because of what Jesus did on the cross, we too can become sons and daughters of God. We too can call God – Abba- as Jesus taught the disciples to call God in the Lord’s prayer. Paul tells us in Galatians “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father'” (Galatians 4:6).
Jesus as the Son of God has divine power which healed many, forgave sins, set captives free, raised people from the dead and enables us to become sons and daughters of God. Paul tells us not only do we have the same Spirit of God in us as Jesus does, we have the same power which raised Jesus from the dead living in us! As God’s sons and daughters, we too have 24/7 access to God. We can talk to him. We can be confident God listens to our hearts and prayers and he is always there for us.
Sing praises to Jesus today for being the Son of God. Thank him for coming to earth to save us. Thank him for allowing us to be sons and daughters of God. Walk in the knowledge you and I are royalty. We are princesses and princes of the kingdom of God! Our dad- Father God is the King! Hallelujah!
Jesus, I declare as Peter and the centurion did, you are indeed the Son of God. Thank you for loving me so much that you came to earth to purchase my salvation on Calvary. Thank you for making a way for me to have 24/7 access to God our Father. Thank you for allowing me to become a son/daughter of God. I praise you Jesus. You are amazing and wonderful. Words are not enough to share my gratitude for what you have done. Jesus today, help me to remember I am royalty. Help me to walk in victory because the same power who lives in you, lives in me. Wow! What a promise and truth. I am amazed at your wondrous love. Amen.
For further study:
Deuteronomy 33:27; Matthew 6:9-13; Matthew 16:13-21; John 3:16-17; Romans 8:14-17; Hebrews 12:4-11