In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ( Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
John testified about Him and cried out, This was He of Whom I said, He Who comes after me has priority over me, for He was before me. [He takes rank above me, for He existed before I did. He has advanced before me, because He is my Chief.]
This is He of Whom I said, After me comes a Man Who has priority over me [Who takes rank above me] because He was before me and existed before I did.
Jesus replied, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before Abraham was born, I Am.
So Jesus added, When you have lifted up the Son of Man [on the cross], you will realize (know, understand) that I am He [for Whom you look] and that I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me.
I tell you this now before it occurs, so that when it does take place you may be persuaded and believe that I am He [Who I say I am -- "the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah].
That is why I told you that you will die in (under the curse of) your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be -- "if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me], you will die in your sins.
But instantly He spoke to them, saying, Take courage! I Am! Stop being afraid!
For they all saw Him and were agitated (troubled and filled with fear and dread). But immediately He talked with them and said, Take heart! I Am! Stop being alarmed and afraid.
See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.
But Jesus said to them, It is I; be not afraid! [I Am; stop being frightened!]
And Jesus said, I Am; and you will [all] see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power ( the Almighty) and coming on the clouds of heaven.
They answered Him, Jesus the Nazarene. Jesus said to them, I am He. Judas, who was betraying Him, was also standing with them.
Jesus answered, I told you that I am He. So, if you want Me [if it is only I for Whom you are looking], let these men go their way.
When Jesus said to them, I am He, they went backwards (drew back, lurched backward) and fell to the ground.