that was something different. To them, that was blasphemy.
James White makes a very good connection of this term, ego eimi, to the term “I am” (ani hu transliterated from Hebrew) used by Isaiah (Is 41:4; 43:10; 46:4). Isaiah used this term, ani hu, as an euphemism to connect with the name of God Himself. Then in Isaiah 45:18, this term is then tied to the act of creating which the New Testament attributes to Jesus Christ (Jn 1:3, Cl 1:16-17; Hb 1:2-3). White then states that the connection between these passages in Isaiah and Exodus 3:14 (where God stated to Moses, “I AM THAT I AM”) is undeniable. The Jewish leaders understood this connection that Jesus was making and is the reason they were so upset. They understood what Jesus was saying but refused to accept it and instead accused him of blasphemy. John 8:59 states they were so upset they were willing to stone him on the spot. Remember this was a time in Jewish history when the Romans had taken capital punishment away from the Jewish leaders. This shows how really upset they were. They were willing to go against the commands of Rome to silence Jesus of making such a claim.
This is not the only verse where Jesus made this claim. In John 10:30, Jesus stated, “I and the Father are one.” And in John 14:9, Jesus told Philip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Therefore, Jesus was not passive in making a claim to not only be equal with God but to be God as well. Jesus was stating that he was part of the Trinity and, therefore, we see that scripture supports the doctrine of God being Trinity.
This is really a very important message because we need to stop and think about the significance of Jesus’ death. If he was not God, then His death has no real meaning for us. God demanded a perfect sacrifice. That was not possible up until the time of Jesus Christ and so the sacrifices had to be done repeatedly. Jesus had to be 100% God in order for the sacrifice to meet God’s perfection criterion. Jesus had to be 100% human in order for his sacrifice to count for mankind’s payment. Since he was part of the Trinity (and therefore equal to God as well as a part of God) Jesus was able to appease the wrath of God that was headed toward each of us. We now count on his payment for our sins and by no other means of effort. We can only stand before a holy God because of what Jesus Christ did for us. After all, scripture also states that salvation can only come through Jesus Christ (Ac 4:12). No wonder, no one else was qualified to meet the high expectation of a sin payment that God required. Only Jesus Christ met the criteria God established. How amazing! God established the criteria because of His justice and, knowing we could never pay the requirement, did so on our behalf to show His love and mercy. Don’t you want a God like that? Doesn’t that make Him a God of Easter?
James White, “Purpose and Meaning of "Ego Eimi" in the Gospel of John In Reference to the Deity of Christ,” Alpha and Omego Ministries, http://vintage.aomin.org/EGO.html(accessed 10-Mar-2013).
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