Ok… so, “next week” is a loose term. This is part two of a three part series… you can find part one here
For a moment we will move to the 5th I am statement and will deal with the 4th at the end.
Statements 5-7 are made to his disciples and followers outside of Jerusalem. Jesus repeats himself in these three statements but this time they have eternal and not symbolic significance. The first three statements are made to the Jewish leaders and religious people and all are symbolic reference. What is fascinating is the connection of these first three statements with the various celebrations around which they are proclaimed. (i.e. the “Light” is made immediately after, the feast of booths and just before the feast of dedication Chanukah) These final three statements are restatements of the first three. However, the first three are symbolic reference to Jesus and metaphorical, whereas the last three speak of the eternal realities that these symbols represent. It is also interesting to note that these last three statements are only spoken 1 time. It is as if Jesus is stating these and clarifying that this is completely finished.
The 5th statement is when Jesus says “I am The Resurrection!” You know the story… Jesus goes to resurrect Lazarus. Jesus goes to be with His friends Mary and Martha who are morning the loss of their brother. It is evident from John 11:14-15 that Jesus knew He was going to resurrect Lazarus. Yet, He still weeps with Mary and reassures Martha. This passage continues to connect Jesus with The Shepherd that would come in Ezekiel 36-37. This Shepherd loves the sheep and takes care of them. What is truly powerful is the simplicity of Jesus’ miracle. He does no fanfare. He stands openly professing who He is and with the authority of God, Jesus calls Lazerus from the tomb. He shows himself the victory over death and the protector of those who believe. Much like the door that defends the sheep from death, so Jesus is the resurrection and grants deliverance from death and even victory over it!
The 6th statement is “I am the way , the truth and the life…” Jesus proclaims this statement among his disciples just after His warning of the crucifixion. He proclaims to the disciples that they will all deny Him and that following Jesus is going to be hard. However, in the face of all these troubles, Jesus proclaims that Heaven awaits! So, Jesus then proclaims Himself the Way, Truth, and Life. Meaning that He is the embodiment of Heaven. The path we walk on this earth is His path, the truth we need is Him, the Life we desire is found in Him! Jesus connects Himself to the prophecy in Isaiah 42 in which God states that He will take His people by the hand and lead them! Isn’t it comforting to know that the Light of Life is leading us and guiding us. Trust the LORD! He is good!
The 7th statement, “I am the true Vine” connects Jesus with Jeremiah 2:21 and Ezekiel 15. The Jewish people had been called God’s vine. That vine was not effective and was going to be pruned according to ALL the prophets. Jesus explains, if you want salvation and you want to be part of the people of God, you must stem from the true vine. Jesus is the vine, those who follow Him are the branches. Remain in Jesus and you will produce fruit and be saved.
So, in review: here is a brief sketch to help you see.