An earlier post I began a discussion about one of the major differences between Jesus and Superman in the movie Superman: Man of Steel (Struggling with Identity? Part 1). This difference is that Jesus knew exactly who He was – His identity as God’s Son. Superman struggled with his true identity. Jesus didn’t. As proof of Jesus’ confidence, the Gospel of John states 7 declarations made by Jesus Himself about His identity. I call them the “I AM” statements. I want to comment on the last five…
Jesus is the Door
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” (John 10:9)
Jesus said this during a discourse with Israel’s religious leaders in which Jesus declared to them that they were unfit shepherds of the nations. Shepherds guided their flocks into stone enclosures each night to protect them. These structures had no doors. The shepherd would sit or lie in the opening to prevent predators from attacking. Thus, Jesus was describing His care and constant devotion to those who are His. As a door, Jesus is one who can, and will, open the way between us and our Creator.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
There is no record of Jesus watching over flocks of sheep. But there is plenty in the record about Him watching over His followers. Unlike hired help who might run away and leave the flock unprotected, Jesus is committed to care for and keep watch over His people. He cares for us when everyone has turned their back on us.
Back in 1947, Cincinnati Reds fans were giving Jackie Robinson a tough time as the first to break the ‘color barrier’ in Major League Baseball. In show of support, Pee Wee Reese temporarily left his position at shortstop and went to Robinson at first base and put his arm around the rookie, silencing the crowd. Remember, Jesus will never leave you. But will draw closer to you as times get lonely.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:25-26)
Jesus said this after Lazarus had died. Jesus is the Lord of all life and possesses all power to raise the dead. Death is not the final word, for all who are in Christ will live forever. Death cannot silence, nor stop, the life of Christ. Even when we go through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ we have nothing to fear because He is with us.
When I was a small child, I was afraid of the dark. Really, I wasn’t afraid of the dark, just the things I thought were in the dark. Many times I would be terrified through the night and would bravely scurry into my mom and dad’s room. Kneeling beside my mom, I asked if I could sleep with them. After much pleading, my mom would give up and let me jump in between my parents. Within seconds, I was asleep. Nothing had changed except I now realized that between me and my imaginary monsters were two people who loved me and would protect me. I had nothing to be afraid of. Whatever you are afraid of today, Jesus is with you and will protect you. Even death has no more sting to inflict any hurts. Shadows cannot hurt you.
Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life
“Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus said this when the disciples were confused about Jesus’ statement about leaving. Jesus is the one and only way to the Father. He is the source of all truth. He is the source of all knowledge about God. He offers to spiritually dead people the very life of God.
If you were to invite me to your home for dinner, you might give me some directions on what roads to take, which way to turn and what areas to avoid. But the best way to get me to your house is to take me yourself. I would not have to depend on my map or your directions. You would be the map to get me to your house. Jesus is the map. If you have Jesus, He is the way. And there is no other way to Heaven except Jesus.
Jesus is the Vine
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Jesus said this in the Upper Room Discourse on the night of His arrest. The Old Testament contains many references to Israel as God’s vine. But because of unfruitfulness, Jesus came to fulfill God’s plan. By attaching ourselves to Christ, we enable His life to flow in and through us. Then we cannot help but bear fruit that will honor the Father. In this metaphor, He is the gardener and we are His plants.
Everyone has a belly button (unless you’ve had an operation to remove it). I don’t know that it serves any purpose for our health, but it is a constant reminder that you began life connected to someone – your mom. We start life connected and God wants us to be connected to Him. Jesus is our connection to God. He gives us life and causes our fruitfulness.
In a previous movie, Superman Returns, Lois is heard saying, “The world doesn’t need a savior. And neither do I.” To which Superman responds, “You wrote that the world doesn’t need a Savior. But everyday I hear people crying for one.” Many people do not recognize their need for Jesus. But this world and every individual in it are crying out for the very things that only Jesus can provide – peace, love and joy. And like Superman, Jesus is in a never ending battle for truth, justice, and freedom (the American way).