Bible Facts column
By Ian Kurylyk
When questioned about the knowledge and authority by which He spoke, Jesus made a very significant statement about His identity. I AM is the name of God under whose authority Moses was sent forth to bring Israel out of Egypt. "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you" (Exodus 3:14b).
Men like Abraham, who lived centuries before even Jesus, we refer to as men who WERE. We refer to ourselves living under the dictates of time as people who ARE. Future generations WILL BE.
Though the Lord entered our world of time as the miraculously born Jesus, yet He clearly claimed to be above its restrictions. Only He could say, Before Abraham was, I am. There is no question that Jesus Christ claimed to be Almighty God.
The name, I AM suggests eternal being, but also underived being or what we call self-existence. This differs from all the rest of us who have a kind of dependent existence.
God gave us being as part of His creation. We exist as creatures of time, our lives bound to the ticking hands of the clock, and sustained by the provisions of God's creation.
Our dependency upon God goes deeper still. The answer to all we search for is answered by God's I AM. The song writer expressed it well in the words, "People need the Lord.
God is the sufficient and only answer to all human needs. People search for meaning, happiness, fulfilment, and love in places that can never give satisfaction. People need the Lord.
As it was for Israel when slaves to Egypt's Pharaoh, God's name I AM is a redemption name an offer of salvation.
The Lord Jesus Christ wears that name as the one who came to provide deliverance from slavery to sin and the death and judgment that follows. He did this by giving His life for us as a ransom from sin. He then rose in victory over the grave to offer eternal life.
Sin is the one thing that threatens to ruin everyone ultimately. People need salvation. People need the Lord.
Ian Kurylyk is pastor at Summerside Fundamental Baptist Church.