by Hollis Hiscock
God’s name – I AM – flashed across the electronic sign spanning a four lane major highway.
I almost somersaulted inside my vehicle.
Reversing while travelling 100 km per hour was not an option. I wanted to corroborate what I thought I saw.
Within minutes another sign confirmed God’s name front and centre.
I felt a sense of virtuous pride, thinking God had achieved such visibility and prominence on a transportation communication network.
Then, I recognized what it really was.
They were advertising the Invictus Games. The second I in INVICTUS and the AM in GAMES were coloured gold, the rest black and gray. Together these highlighted letters were juxtapositioned as – I AM – God’s name for God.
You see, when God recruited Moses to travel to Egypt to lead God’s people from slavery to freedom in a new land, he asked, “If they do not believe me, who can I say sent me?” God replied, “Tell them I AM THAT I AM sent you and they will know.”
I AM THAT I AM denotes abstraction, yet the I AM refers to the present tense and THAT indicates God is gender neutral.
Centuries later, when the time was right, the abstract infinite God became a finite personality.
When a baby was born in Bethlehem’s stable, the intangible I AM THAT I AM God was transformed into a visible human person, Jesus Christ. However, Jesus never surrendered his I AM THAT I AM nature.
Years later, when Jesus began teaching, he would use I AM to clarify truths and insights about God and referred to himself as I AM.
He was not just talking about himself or referencing himself; actually he was pointing his listeners back to his divinity (God) … Jesus never lost his divinity by becoming human.
As the I AM, Jesus acknowledged his coming from the I AM of the past, but also challenged his followers to be the I AM of the present; in their own situation, century or generation.
Let’s looks at some examples.
When Jesus said I AM the bread of life (John 6:51), it means he wants us as today’s I AM (followers of God) to provide physical and spiritual bread to all people so each can live to their full life potential.
When Jesus said I AM the light of the world (John 8:12), it means he wants us as today’s I AM (followers of God) to shine the light in the dark places of injustice and inequality perpetuated by people abusing their power.
When Jesus said I AM the door (John 10:9), it means he want us as today’s I AM (followers of God) to become fully inclusive and accessible so that everyone can enter and be accepted totally.
When Jesus said I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11), it means he wants us as today’s I AM (followers of God) to imitate the good shepherd in searching out, caring for, protecting and helping those who are in need and less fortunate, travelling the highway of life.
When Jesus said I AM the resurrection (John 11:25) and I AM the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), was he speaking about himself or referring to the I AM THAT I AM (God)? If it is the latter, then Jesus wants today’s I AM (us) to be pointing beyond yourself to God.
That highway sign took me back to meet the I AM of Old Testament days, brought me forward to the first Christmas when I AM became human in Jesus, and then to the present when each of us becomes the I AM of today and tomorrow.