28 So Jesus told them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM, – John 8:28a ISV
The Pharisees and the ruling class were still trying to find a way to be rid of Jesus. They were always trying to catch Jesus in some error or saying something that they could define as blasphemy. This would allow them to take Him to the Romans and ask for the death penalty. As Jesus taught the people, His words had again infuriated the Jewish leaders with His claim about who He was. In this passage, He not only tells them who He is, He also prophesies that He will die by being hung on a cross. He also refers to Himself as “I AM” in this translation. The same way God had always referred to Himself in the Old Testament. God and Jesus both referred to themselves in the present tense, never in the past and never in the future. We say God was, God is and God will always be. They just say “I AM”. They live in and refer to life in the present or the “now”. We should follow their example and live our lives the same way. As Mother Teresa once said: “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Though Jesus knew that He would die on a cross in a few days, He did not let that deter Him from doing what our Father had sent Him to do. We should not let regrets from yesterdays or worries and fears about tomorrow deter us from accomplishing God’s purpose and plan for us today.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! — 2 Cor. 5:14-17 NIV
Our human, finite minds cannot fully grasp the height, depth and width of the kind of love that would cause God to send His only Son to die on a cross for our sins. But, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are allowed a glimpse into the depth of that love. If we are truly convinced of that love, it should be more than enough to compel us to share His love and His story with others. He died for all of us and was raised again for our salvation. If we truly believe this, then we no longer see others through our eyes but through the eyes of Christ. Once, before we accepted Jesus as our Lord, we saw Him as the world sees Him, just a good man and teacher, but when we received the Holy Spirit, we began to see Jesus in a whole new way. Everything and everyone around us looks different because we are or should be looking at those around us just as Jesus sees them. As C S Lewis said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.” Thus everything has become “new” to us. But, in reality, what has become truly new is us. We are a new creation!
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. — 1 Peter 1:23 NIV
So, let us turn from our old, wicked ways and walk in the newness of life led by the Holy Spirit!