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“I am the Life… and the Life.”[1]  The only time Jesus ever repeated any of the “I Am”s that He is was when He said, I am the Life.”  The first time He said that was in John 11:25-26 when He said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.  He who believes in Me will live even though he dies.  And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.  Do you believe this?”

The Resurrection is the One who gives life again to those who are dead, and the resurrections are the events when those who are dead come back to life; the first for those who are martyred, and the second for everybody else. 

The first time Jesus said, “I am the Life,”[2] He then used these words to tell us what that Life does to those who believe in Him:  “and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”  The Life of John 11:26 gives those who live and believe in Him immortality and the power to never die.  That is the first half of the Life that He is.

For three years as tradition tells us, it could be much more, Jesus openly lived His life before men and women, those who believed Him, and those who did not believe Him and even opposed Him secretly and plotted to kill Him even as they sat and listened to His teachings.

He displayed a life no one had ever lived before, not to this magnitude, which was far greater than the prophets of power like Moses and Elijah, as He taught with an authority no one else had either.  He lived the life of the Son of God who came from the Father, full of knowledge, wisdom and understanding as well as grace and power.  He even knew what people were thinking.  Indeed, a Superhero amongst ordinary men, a God amongst mere mortals.  And as such as He healed the sick and did all His miracles, He was after all the Son of God who came from God.  In living as the Son of God before us, He made known to us the Father He knows, and through all His words, we come to know God the Father in all His power, love and Godliness.  Indeed, as I have said earlier, the listening to Jesus and the practice of His words reveals to us the Son who came from the Father.

However, Jesus did not just tell us of His Sonship as God’s Son, but again and again He referred to Himself as the Son of Man, both to the disciples and the Pharisees.  It is not the Son of God who the Pharisees would see sitting at the right hand of the Almighty, but the Son of Man.  You will not see the Son of God coming on the clouds of Heaven, but the Son of Man.[3]  Indeed when asked, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?” He replied, “I am.  And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.”[4]

At His arrival, it is not the sign of the Son of God that we will see, but He said, “At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the Earth will mourn.”[5]  So when did He live as the Son of Man?  How could He claim to have lived as the Son of Man, even if we did adopt Him as I have taught?  You can adopt a superhero and call him your son, but he will never live as if he was truly your son.  For if Jesus was truly a son of man, than He could not and would not even heal a few sick people, much less do the miracles as He did.  As the Son of God, He knew where He came from and where He was going to.  No son of man has that privilege.  We do not know where we come from or why we are born on this Earth and neither do we know where we are going or how to get there despite all the carefully invented stories and religions to placate us.  We may believe we came from God.  We may believe there are Heaven and Hell for the good and evil people, but we do not know, and we do not know for sure.  That is the problem.  Jesus knew His Father, God.  He knew Heaven and Hell, and He knew the way there and back.  So even if we were to adopt Him as the Son of Man, He really does not have the life of the son of man and cannot claim any legitimacy as the Son of Man unless He lived a life as any son of man does.

Here is the revelation:

Many are the scriptures and preaches that speak of Christ’s death, sacrifice and crucifixion at the cross.  He has always been portrayed as One pinned on that cross, dying for us on that cross.  Yes, as Son of God, He died for us on that cross.  But see that He did not die on that cross until He could live no more.  You see, He told us plainly as Son of God that He had the right to lay down His life and take it up again whenever He wanted, for that was what His Father commanded Him.[6]  But He never laid down His life and died using His power as the Son of God.

No, the second “I am the Life”[7] points to the life of Jesus, the Son of Man, a life He lived not during His years of ministry, but for six long hours on the cross at Calvary.  Yes, He died on that cross, but not before He had lived on that cross as the Son of Man.  The Son of the father who is the image and likeness of God, who was cast out of Eden from the presence of God without miraculous power to defend himself from the wild animals, who had to eat and live by the sweat of his brow, and whose daily toil to get some food would make every muscle and sinew in him rip open.  A life lived in darkness, the darkness of ignorance, separated from God and unable to see where He is going or how to get there; a hopeless life that should be ended quickly.

That is the life of Adam, the man, after he was cast out of Eden, separated from God, forsaken by God, surrounded by animals he could no longer control, and having to till the soil for food by the sweat of his brow.  Adam was born in Eden, a place of such perfection and beauty that he only had to speak to name things as his work, where food was always in abundance, where there was no need, no fear, no shame, no danger and no sweat, and suddenly he finds himself alone with his helper, who turned out to be no helper, in a hostile world with no way of getting back to Eden, with this as his only promise concerning his fate —he will die and return to the dust he came from.

He should have killed himself.  The enormity of the loss of Eden to Adam’s mind and psychological state should have driven him crazy and to want to kill himself, but yet he did not.  Somehow, Adam dared to live for 930 years, and lived to have children and to see his prodigies grow.  He overcame the tragedy of Cain and Able to have Seth.  Somehow against impossible odds, without knowledge of farming or animal husbandry, without knowledge of survival, Adam not only survived, but thrived and lived on the Earth 930 years.  With his fall from sinlessness and exile, the image and likeness of God revealed that which is in God that God could never reveal unless He became just like Adam —the courage and the will to live even though you know you will die.

That is the life of the Son of Man that Jesus lived on the cross at Calvary, rejected by God, pinned to a cross, exposed and weak, surrounded by cruel and mean men who are more dangerous than the worst dinosaur, drenched in blood, sweat and tears and cloaked in darkness so that He alone knew what He was suffering.  Jesus lived the life of a Son of Adam, the Man, and resisted man’s greatest temptations of all, to take up the power of God and change His circumstances, or to end His life quickly to end the suffering.  For at any moment, He could still have called on twelve legions of angels to get off that cross.  At any moment, He could have laid down His life and left that suffering carcass of a body and do what God His Father said He could do.  If He did that, then He would have betrayed His father Adam, and would never have really become the Son of Man.

No, He lived on that cross in six hours everything man would have to live through in a lifetime, with an intensity that identified Him with all men so that He could understand us and know us as a Man and not as God.  That is why one of His first sayings from the cross was, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[8]  Something He never said as the Son of God, but now on that cross as the Son of Man, He could say it with understanding, for now, Jesus knew Adam, His father, and the cause of his actions and words after he left Eden.  Now Jesus, the Son of Man, was living the way we live —powerless, helpless, hopeless, forsaken, deserted and alone in darkness, with no foreseeable hope, except to die.

Now, He understood the courage of man, the good courage that God had placed in His image, the courage to live and to keep living even when you are powerless, helpless, hopeless, forsaken, deserted, alone and suffering in darkness.  Now He could let man judge Satan and his angels, even all angels, for no angels ever lost their miraculous powers and spiritual abilities even when they were cast down to Earth.  Satan could still do counterfeit signs and wonders, shield himself from the physical elements, move and live as a spirit with power greater than mortal men.  He had no courage as men have courage.

And on that cross, the Life that Jesus is and that He lived revealed the Father in His Image.  What is revealed is the intrinsic courage that is in God, that if God ever became powerless, helpless, hopeless, forsaken in darkness with death as His only prospect, God would still live and fight to live until there was no more life left in Him, and even then God would still commit Himself to God.  Even though God knows there is no other God beside Himself, He could still have faith that there is God.  So when Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit,”[9] the Son of God spoke because the Son of Man could live no more, but having lived as the Son of Man on that cross, He committed His spirit, the spirit of the Son of Man to His Father, for Jesus could now, on our behalf, come before the Father in our defence, and He does so as our Great High Priest.[10]  Having lived as the Son of Man on that cross, He had truly suffered every trial and every temptation of men, and for God to see that men still would fight to live on this Earth, Jesus could now commend us to His Father without shame as His brothers.  For His life on the cross was lived as a tribute to the courage of Adam and all sons of Adam, to live as all men live —powerless, helpless, hopeless, Godforsaken, and still not give up, but still fight to pass on to the next generation.  The courage of man was revealed in His Life on that cross as much as His Life as the Son of God with all His merciful compassion and healing was lived as a tribute to God His Father, so His life on the cross was lived as a tribute to the courage of man who is the image and likeness of God His Father.

You see, before Jesus died on the cross for us, He lived on that cross as One of us – a Man, a Son of Adam – and revealed to all the innate, inherent courage of God Almighty.  That is why God is worthy of praise, not because He is God Almighty who might squash you like a maggot if He wished without reason, but because He is full of good courage so that even if He was a worm, He would still live to give life, and live more abundantly.

Through Jesus, God sees amongst the meek, the mild, the weak, the poor, the sinners, the rejected of this world, the very image of courage, His courage.  Men and women, everyday all over the world, struggling to live, and live they do without the power of the angels, and the wisdom and knowledge of Satan, without their beauty and supernatural abilities; men and women, just like you and me, live as a testimony of the courage of Adam, the first Adam, the image and likeness of God.

If they lived a sinful life, they lived a sinful life, but they lived life, and God’s provision for all sinners is Jesus, so that all who call upon His Name will be saved.  So appreciative, for want of a better word, is God of the courage of all men to have lived as sons of Adam that, after the period of their purification is over, all who have not believed on Jesus will be given a final chance on Judgement Day.  That day when God will bend forward and touch each man’s lips as it is written:  “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the Name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder.”[11] 

For no one knows, only God knows how profoundly changed is the heart, mind and soul, even spirit of God through those six hours on that roman cross when the Son of God turned away from His life as the Son of God and took up the life of the Son of Man and lived it; lived it fully and lived it triumphantly, so that it was not with a whisper, but with a shout that He cried out, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.  It is finished.”[12]

As the Son of God He committed His spirit, and as the Son of Man He shouted, “It is finished.”   Triumphantly, He shouted to God, “I have finished living the Life You gave Me.  It is done, I can live no more, but I have lived!”

And at that, the curtain was torn at the temple as a symbol and sign that the Life of God and the life of man had become one Life in Jesus Christ, the Life.  Yes, He is the Life, a Life unlike any other, for no one had ever lived the Life of the Son of God and the Son of Man, no angel or man, but He alone.  Truly a new Creation, a new Person, a Firstborn.  The two had become one, the Tree of Life had come out of Eden and grafted itself to that manmade tree, the cross, and on that day at that moment, the two were ingrafted as one forever.

So that anyone who has faith in Him, who believes in Him, who comes to know Him, and who allows the Holy Spirit to be their Father, will become just like Him through Him, sons of man.  Any son of man who would repent and believe would also have His Life, for His Life is that of the Son of Man and the Son of God, so that truly through Him, God and man would have many more sons worthy of their Father, worthy of God and His Image and Likeness.

That is why every scripture that speaks of Him as One who can understand us, help us and intercede for us is there because Jesus Christ lived on that roman cross as the Son of Man before He died, and through that Life, all who are in Him can also be sons of God as surely as they are sons of men. 

Amen forever and forever.


 

[1] John 14:6; 11:25

[2] John 11:25

[3] Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26

[4] Mark 14:61-62

[5] Mathew 24:30

[6] John 10:18

[7] John 14:6

[8] Luke 23:34

[9] Luke 23:46

[10] Hebrews 4:14

[11] Zephaniah 3:9

[12] Luke 23:46; John 19:30

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