Sunday, March 21, 2021

When the present predates the past

Propers for Passion Sunday

Sermon for Passion Sunday

Today is a day of revelation. Today we find the answer to two questions which still are asked today. These two questions have the same answer and you know that answer for you hear it from the words of Our Lord Himself.

First question: why is Jesus killed?
Second question: who does Jesus think He is?

The answer: "Before Abraham was, I AM."


This one sentence from Our Lord brings out the murderous side of the Jewish leaders. Stones are picked up at the ready. Faces are contorted in incredulous anger. Fingers are stuck in ears in a vain attempt to shut out those terrible words.

"Before Abraham was, I AM."

Jesus has revealed the truth.

Jesus is God.

In one little sentence any idea that Jesus is just a good man, just a wise teacher, just a social revolutionary, are all overturned. 

"Before Abraham was, I AM."


You can tell that there is something odd about this sentence because it doesn't make grammatical sense. And then your ears are drawn back in time and you hear the same voice calling out of the burning bush, "I AM THAT I AM". 

This is the most holy name that God gives Himself to Moses so that the Jews might know Him. This is the Name that accompanies the God of Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. This is the Name that goes right back to the beginning. At the beginning of it all, before anything exists, God is.

And Jesus is saying that His present predates the past. His Now comes before our Then.

There is only one way for this to happen. Jesus Himself has always existed beyond Time. Not even the angels can say that. For now, for our sake, Jesus is made lower than the angels and soon, in our time, He will be crowned with thorns and spitting.

Still later on in our time is He risen, ascended, glorified, crowned with glory and honour above the angels.


A good man cannot predate the past.
A good teacher cannot predate the past.
A social reformer cannot predate the past.

Either Jesus is mistaken.
Or He is lying.
Or He is deluded.
Or He is telling a parable.
Or He is telling the truth.

The miracles He performs, His resurrection from the dead, His appearance to five hundred people after His death show very clearly that He is telling the truth.

Jesus Christ is God indeed!

It is for this truth that He suffers.
It is for this truth that He dies.

It is this truth that He came to us in the first place, to give us His good news.

Jesus is God and He loves us.

Do not be deceived by those who say that Jesus never claims to be God. 

"Before Abraham was, I AM"

You can't get clearer than that!

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