Ego eimi: I am he
Once more, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Heaster, ladies and gentlemen, one thing I am in complete agreement with Mr. Heaster over is that this is not just an academic debate. My point is that while there is much that he has said about the gospel I would agree with, the whole thing is nullified by refusing to believe that Jesus is divine. If I might quote another Scripture, to underline many scriptures that have already been quoted, it is Hebrews 13:8, where it says, that “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever”. Now when it says “the same” that is a title of Deity. It is a word for example that is used in Psalm 102:27 addressing God when it says “thou art the same”. That is used in the second person. When it is transferred to the first person it is translated “I am he”. Now that occurs in Isaiah chapter 43:10 “Yes are my witnesses, saith the Lord and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me”. Ego eimi, “I am he”.
Turn now with me to the New Testament to John’s gospel chapter 8. This is the end of an argument between Jesus and the Jews. Jesus says verse 56 “your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou are not yet 50 years old and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you before Abraham was, I am”. Now the words Jesus quotes there “Ego eimi” are exactly the words given as “I am he” in Isaiah where I have quoted from. The slight difference is due to the differences in the Hebrew language. If you want to know what that means, I will just quote from a scholar whom I by no means universally approve of but who gives an independent opinion from my own, when he says “before Abraham came into being, I eternally was, as now I am, and ever continue to be”. A comment by a Jewish scholar on Isaiah 43:10 says, “I am he, that is, always the same, ever was, is and will be”. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever. Ego eimi. I am he.
Now that brings me to the point about him dying for us. Of course, it was as a man that he died for us. I thought I had made that as clear as I possibly could, but evidently it needs repeating. It was as man he died for us. It was as man he bore the judgment for us. But you see, for him to have borne the judgment of our sins would have broken him, if he had been a sinful man as has been suggested. His death would have been necessary for himself not for us. He came into conditions indeed where it was possible for him to die. He became into real flesh and blood, apart from sin. In him sin was not. And it is because he was perfect it was possible for God to use the scripture my friend over there quoted to “make him sin for us who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him”. The Christian can face death without fear because he knows he has placed his trust upon the eternal Son of God and the one who has borne his sins. To quote the figurative expression of the Old Testament, those sins have been borne “as far away as the east is from the west” as Jehovah says. “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and…he was buried, and he was raised again the third day according to the scriptures:” and is now risen, ascended on high where it says, he ever lives to make intercession for those that call upon God through him.
I don’t think I need to add anything more.
Well, it just leaves me to thank you all for coming and to remind you that if you want a transcript of this, there is a yellow slip for you to fill in and to place in one of these boxes.
Once again, thank you very much for coming.
Mr. Chairman, May I be allowed to thank you and the speakers for the very reverent and patient way in which you have conducted these proceedings.